21 December, 2011

Gluten Free Christmas Cake

A couple of weeks ago, I was a stressing out that Christmas was so close, and nothing had been prepared. Now, with just three days ago, I can assure you that it took us very little time to get everything ready.

The Christmas tree is up since last weekend. Husband and I went out on 2 or 3 days to buy presents. Instead of a turkey, I bought a big chicken for Christmas lunch, as it is only the four of us and a couple of friends. I downloaded a nice selection of Christmas songs: the classics sung by Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Elvis Presley, Boney M. Not some choir that puts you to sleep while listening to it.

I baked several batches of last year's tested and approved Christmas cookies. I even baked a few Christmas cakes. No concoctions of my own this year, but other blogger's Christmas cakes. I already shared my Gingerbread Bundt Cake with you, which is so good that I brought it as a gift when we were at friends for dinner.

Now here the other cake. I promise, I have only been baking these two cakes, because they are so good. This one is gluten free, with just a little bit of added sugar as the deep dark flavors of the added dried fruit do all the talking in this cake.

The ingredients list of this cake is long, but it looks more complicated than it actually is. Only a few days to go until Christmas. Not much time for experiments. This cake will not fail you. Easy to make and the kind of cake that everyone enjoys over the festive season.


3/4 cup prunes, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
50ml brandy or orange juice

1/2 cup almond meal
3/4 cup  buckwheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (120g) butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup palm sugar
3 eggs
1 orange, peel of
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 small apple with peel, coarsely grated

Yields 1 cake
Place the chopped fruit in a shallow bowl and pour over the brandy or orange juice. Leave to soak for at least three hours. If you want a strong brandy flavor, it is advisable to leave them soaked overnight. Stir occasionally.
Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Grease 20cm/8inch cake tin or bundt cake tin.
In a large bowl, sift together buckwheat flour and almond meal, salt, baking powder and spices. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar. Lightly whisk the eggs. Combine all in one bowl and stir in orange peel, soaked dried fruit, grated apple and vanilla extract.
Combine wet and dry ingredients.

Pour batter into prepared cake tin, level the surface. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool a little before taking it out of the tin. Best eaten warm.


  1. Holy yummy-ness, this sounds like a delicious and actually edible version of the traditional holiday fruit cake. I've made quite a few of your recipes since following your blog a couple months ago, and so far, none have disappointed. I have a feeling this one will be a hit too. How can you go wrong with a stick of butter, right? Do you think I could substitute a little bit of applesauce for some of the butter, or would that just totally ruin the whole concept of the cake? Just curious

  2. that looks scrumptous. but if i'm not trying to be gluten free (& because i don't have almond meal in the house) can i just switch almond meal for regular or white whole white flour? or is it more complicated/involved than that? thanks so much.

  3. I don't think the cake will suffer a lot with less butter. Replacing parts of it with applesauce seems like a good idea.

    As for the flours, I can imagine this cake will work with whole wheat or whole spelt flour. Good luck. Let me know how it turned out.

  4. Christmas Dinner, 2011: Anja's sweet n' seed bread with a side of Anja's spinach cauliflower soup, an interlude of Martha Stewart wine-basted bison meatloaf and baked acorn squash, wrapped up with Anja's gingerbread almonds and eggnog. Anja > Martha Stewart in our kitchen tonight! :)

  5. Sounds like you had the perfect plans for Christmas. I hope you guys had a great time! This cake looks wonderful :)

  6. The cake looks great! I'll add a link to your post in the original recipe. It does work with spelt or wholewheat flour as the amount of flour is so little, you can use what you like really. Something nutty gives a good flavour though.

    Merry Christmas! x x x