A lighter, zingier, festive fruit cake

Hello baking friends,

Deep dark, boozy traditional fruitcakes are not my cup of tea…and if you feel the same, then this recipe is just for you!

Its a lighter, zingier, fresher take on a traditional Christmas-style fruit cake, and it factors in lots of dried tropical fruits, like pineapple, papaya, finds, apricots and cherries, for a brighter tasting cake. If you know my style by now, you’ll know that it also happens to be plant-based, and it’s easy to make as gluten-free too.

It may be Stir Up Sunday on the 24th November, but this cake doesn’t need to rest in between now and Christmas, and be soaked in alcohol to make it tastier, but it can totally be baked ahead of time, and frozen until needed.


I decorated this particular cake with some seasonal berries, leaves and cones, some baby apples and some dehydrated fruit slices too. If you’d like to dehydrate your own fruits, check out this blog post for instructions.

Another beautiful DIY idea could be to create a cranberry garland for the top, and Lara my fellow Babyccino blogger in London, has this how-to post to help.

I’d love to know what you think of the cake, and if you like it, please tag me in your pics online – @beesbakery.

Bee’s (plant-based) tiny fruit cake recipe:

This recipe makes one tall 8 inch round, and can be scaled up / down accordingly.


To soak for an hour before baking:

  • a small mug of hot, black tea (or fruit juice)
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 500 g dried vine fruits (blackcurrants, raisins, sultanas, currants)

For the rest of the cake

  • 900 g dried fancy fruits of your choosing e.g., apricots, papaya, mango, pineapple, figs, prunes, glacé cherries, dried blueberries, cranberries, candied peel etc) chopped into 2-4cm pieces.
  • 350 g soft vegetable margarine, at room temp
  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 flax eggs – 4 tbsp ground flax seeds, mixed with 10 tbsp hot water, mixed to a paste
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150 g shelled and roughly chopped nuts
  • 350g self raising wholemeal flour (if GF is required, use a self raising blend and add 2 tsp Xanthan gum)

At least one hour (or the night) before you bake, warm the tea, fruit juice and zest gently in a large bowl and stir in the vine fruits. Leave to cool until your fruit is be juicy and plump by morning.

On the bake day, pre-heat oven to 160°C/325°F and double-line an 8inch round baking tin with parchment, leaving 4-5 cm of paper sticking out the top.

Mix sugar, marg and spices together in a large bowl, or food mixer, until you have a pale, fluffy mixture, about 5 mins.

Mix in the flax eggs and nuts then stir in the flour and the remaining dried fruit.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and flatten the top with the back of a spoon. Pop a circle of parchment on top of the mixture, to stop the sultanas on the top charring.

Bake for one hour, then turn the cake around (in case your oven has any hot spots), reduce the temperature to 150ºC/300ºF and bake for another 30 mins – 1 hour. Check the cake to see whether it’s done by inserting a skewer or the tip of a thin-bladed knife – it should come out clean.

Leave the cake to cool inside the tin so that it keeps its shape, and when ready to serve, cover with a circle of marzipan and decorations of your choice.

This cake freezes well for up to 2 months, wrap well in cling film and tuck away until Christmas time. Once baked, it’ll keep for 1-2 weeks in an airtight container.

x Bee


Comments (1)

December 14, 2020

Hi. This looks so delicious. I need to bake dairy-free for a grandson, but we can use regular eggs. I am not familiar with using flax instead of eggs, but I could try. However, I just wanted to check with you and ask whether I could substitute one hens egg for each flax egg. Thank you!

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