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Gluten Free Fruit Cake (Christmas Cake)

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A rich, moist gluten-free fruit cake, laced with brandy ~ this is the perfect gluten free Christmas cake or traditional wedding cake.

The way I see it, there are two kinds of people who have read the heading of this post. The ones who like fruit cake, and the ones who are about to stop reading now, because they hate fruit cake with the burning fire of a thousand angry suns.

If you do happen to be of the second sort, hear me out. I used to hate fruit cake, but when my Dad was diagnosed with Coeliac disease and I had to start making a gluten free Christmas cake for our family, I realised what actually goes into a fruit cake, and which parts I didn’t like. And so I fixed them – making, what is, in my not-so-humble opinion, The Best Gluten Free Fruit Cake recipe, and The Best Gluten Free Christmas Cake recipe, too!

One of those things I didn’t like was mixed peel. I am not a fan of mixed peel. That’s an easy fix, I know I don’t like it so I don’t put it in.

This one here is the big one: I cannot stand the taste of burnt fruit.

But don’t worry, I have two easy fixes for that, too. So let’s get into it!

  • TRADITIONAL FRUIT CAKE FLAVOUR – This gluten free cake has the same rich flavour as a traditional English-style rich fruit cake, with spices and brandy.
  • CHOOSE YOUR OWN FRUIT – You can make this using a dried fruit mix from the supermarket, or choose your own favourite dried fruits.
  • NO BURNT FRUIT – I have great tips for using baking strips and a little trick with the cake batter to avoid burnt fruit on the edges of the cake.
  • KEEPS FOR MONTHS – Just like a regular fruit cake, this can be made months in advance, and improves in flavour and texture over time.
  • CAN BE MADE AT THE LAST MINUTE – For those of us who are less organised, the cake still tastes great when made the week before.

How to Prepare a Cake Tin for Fruit Cakes

This is the best way to prevent burnt fruit on the edges of your fruit cake.

Fruit cakes take a long time to bake. That’s why since the beginning of time (or whenever they started making fruit cakes) people have wrapped their fruit cake tins in layers of brown paper and/or newspaper to protect the cake from the heat of the oven, and stop the outside of the cake from burning before the inside is cooked.

I don’t know what the people whose fruit cakes I had tasted were doing, but whatever they were doing was not stopping the fruit from burning on the outside.

Then I started making foil-and-paper-towel baking strips for my mud cakes, and realised I could use them for fruit cakes too.

Baking strips work so much better for insulating the cake than the newspaper ever could, and better yet your house will smell only of delicious fruit cake, and not of burning paper. Or burning fruit!

Check out the video below to see how I prepare the cake tin, or scroll down for photos showing the process.


Mixed Dried Fruit – I have some notes below on choosing the fruit for your fruit cake. Big tip – buy fruit that already looks nice and plump, and you’ll have a head-start on a super moist cake.
Glacé Cherries (optional) If you don’t like these, you can replace them with an equal amount of any other dried fruit.
Glacé Ginger (optional) Leave it out if you’re not a fan.
Citrus zest Lemon zest and orange zest are both great in this, use whichever you have on hand.
Gluten Free Plain Flour – I like to use my homemade gluten free baking flour blend, but this cake works great with commercial gluten free plain or all-purpose flour blends as well. If you’ve stumbled across this recipe and don’t need the cake to be gluten free, you can swap the gluten-free flour for all-purpose wheat flour instead.
Xanthan Gum – This helps to bind the cake together and stop it from crumbling. If using a commercial flour blend that contains a gum ingredient, you can leave out the xanthan gum.
Ground Spices – Cinnamon, Mixed Spice, Ginger, Cardamom and Nutmeg I like lots of spices in my fruit cakes, but you can adjust these to suit your own taste.
Butter – I use salted butter in this recipe, but if unsalted butter is all you have you can use that and add a pinch of salt to the batter. For a dairy free fruit cake, you should be able to use any dairy-free butter alternative that is suitable for baking.
Brown Sugar – Dark or light brown sugar will work in this recipe, and it’s also great with muscovado sugar.
Golden Syrup – For a darker, richer cake you can use molasses instead.
Vanilla Extract – Y’all know I love vanilla in everything.
Large Eggs – That’s all. Just large eggs.
Brandy – Brandy is the traditional choice for fruit cakes, but you can use any alcohol that you like – rum, whiskey, bourbon, orange liqueur, cherry brandy and amaretto would all work.

Alcohol free fruit cake: If you can’t or don’t want to use alcohol, then you can use fruit juice (orange juice or apple juice are good options) to soak the fruit instead. Just be aware that if you don’t use any alcohol in your cake and if you don’t brush it with alcohol once it’s baked, it won’t have quite the same keeping qualities as a boozy one.

Note: It is correct that there is no baking powder or baking soda in this recipe – we don’t need the cake to be light and fluffy, and it will keep a tighter crumb and be much less likely to crumble without any raising agent.

Choosing Dried Fruits for Your Cake

Dried fruits - sultanas, raisins, dates, prunes, currants, apricots and glacé ginger - on a wooden board.

You can simply buy a dried fruit mix from the supermarket, but since a lot of them contain mixed peel, I obviously avoid them. But if you find a mix you like, then buy it! It’ll save you a bit of time.

For our cakes, I prefer to buy the fruits individually and use them to make up the total fruit weight. You can pretty much use any dried or candied fruits that you like.

I happen to really like sultanas (golden raisins) so I use a bit more of them than the other fruits. As well as the sultanas, I like to use raisins, currants, dates, prunes, dried apricots and glacé ginger. Oh, and these polarising bad boys…

A white bowl of red glacé cherries.

Glacé cherries.

I love these. For me, half the enjoyment of making fruit cake is eating these while making it. In fact, I often add extra just because I know that every time I stir the fruit mix, I’m going to pick out and eat a few more cherries. It’s a thing, for me. A Christmas thing. It makes me happy.

But I know a lot of people don’t like ‘em, so if that’s you, by all means, leave them out. Remember, we’re only using the fruits we like. It’s a fruit cake revolution, people!

How To Make A Gluten Free Fruit Cake

Making a fruit cake is a bit of a process and this gluten-free fruit cake is no different in that regard, but the steps themselves are all pretty easy.

Start by chopping any larger fruits like apricots and dates into smaller pieces, about the same size as a raisin.

Chopped dried apricots on a wooden board.

Then rinse the fruit under warm running water. I usually rinse each of the fruits as I measure them, and as I chop each of the larger fruits. If you’re using a pre-mix of dried fruits, just rinse it in batches, as much as will fit in your colander or sieve at a time.

Rinsing the fruit gets any of that sugary, dusty, cloudy stuff off them and also starts moistening and plumping the fruit up.

Raisins being rinsed under a tap in a metal colander.

Your fruit needs to be plump. Just sayin’.

A bottle of St Remy brandy with dried fruits in the background.

Then you can add the glace ginger (if using) and the citrus zest, then slosh over your alcohol of choice.

I like to mix the fruit and alcohol in a large airtight container. Once you close the lid the liquid can’t evaporate – it has no choice but to be absorbed by the fruit. Plus it means that in between stirs, I can just shake the container to mix it all up. (This also saves a few cherries from being eaten, just quietly.)

It needs to be left at least overnight, (a few days is even better) for the fruit to soak up all of the alcohol.

A large square plastic container of mixed dried fruits after soaking in brandy.

Once your fruit has sat and done its thing, you can mix up the batter. If the creamed butter-sugar mixture curdles after adding the eggs, don’t panic, it will come back together once the flour is added. You can beat it plenty, anyway – we don’t have to worry about overworking the gluten! Gluten free baking has its advantages.

Fruit cake batter in a stainless steel bowl.

This next step is my favourite trick for preventing “fruit holes” in your cake. If you’ve ever covered a fruit cake in marzipan and/or fondant or royal icing before, you’ll know that to get a smooth surface, you need to fill the little indents that the fruit causes on the sides of the cake.

Using this little trick will prevent most of those holes from occurring in the first place, and save you a ton of time!

After mixing up the batter and before adding the fruit, take a couple of spoonfuls of the batter and spread it gently into the bottom of the tin. You can do the sides too, if you like. Just make sure you’re careful not to scrunch the baking paper with the spatula.

Then pop the tin into the fridge while you’re adding the fruit to the remaining batter. Some of the fruit may sink down through the batter, but generally, you will get far fewer holes caused by the fruit that will need to be filled (with marzipan or almond icing, or fondant) before covering in fondant.

In the pictures I took for this post, I only did this trick on the bottom, but I usually do this on the sides as well now, which you’ll see if you watch the video at the top of this post.

A square cake pan lined with baking paper, with cake batter spread over the bottom.

Then you can add your drunken fruit to the rest of the batter.

If your mixing bowl is too small, you can transfer the batter to a larger bowl or saucepan. I use our giant pasta pot. When doing an extra-large batch for multiple cakes, I’ve been known to use my Mum’s enormous preserving pan.

Fruit cake batter in a large saucepan.

Now you can gently press it into your prepared cake pan. The batter lining should have firmed up in the fridge, and shouldn’t move too much as you add the rest of the batter. Add a few spoonfuls at a time and press it in with a spatula to make sure there aren’t any gaps. You can fill the tin up almost to the top, the cake has no raising agents, so it doesn’t rise much at all.

Fruit cake batter being pressed into the prepared cake pan with the back of a spatula.
Cake pan filled with batter.

I’m not gonna lie to you, this cake takes some time to bake. Because it’s being baked at such a low temperature, it will take a good few hours to bake through. This low, slow baking will also help ensure the outside doesn’t burn before the centre is done.

Then, once it comes out of the oven you can brush the cake with more brandy.

This recipe is for an 8″ square fruitcake, but you could also bake this in two loaf tins if you want to make a gluten free fruit loaf instead.


Baked fruit cake about to be brushed with brandy.

Fruit cake is traditionally made at least several months in advance of when it is supposed to be eaten. “Maturing” improves both the flavour of the cake and the ability to cut it into neat portions.

While the cake matures you can ‘feed’ it more alcohol, which keeps the cake moist. It also means you can store it for a long time without it going mouldy. For more info on maturing fruit cakes, check out this great post by Anges de Sucre.

I’ve often seen recipes for gluten free fruit cakes and Christmas cakes that say the cake should be made close to serving. I’m not sure why those particular ones say that, but this one here can be matured for just as long as an ordinary fruit cake. In fact, it benefits even more as it helps to stop the cake from crumbling, which can sometimes happen with gluten free cakes, depending on the flour you use.

Here’s how I store my gluten free fruit cakes:

  • Brush the cake with alcohol when it comes out of the oven, cover the tin and allow the cake to cool completely.
  • The next day, brush the top of the cake with more brandy, flip it out of the tin onto a large piece of plastic wrap, brush the remaining sides with brandy and then wrap it up completely in the plastic wrap.
  • Pop it into an airtight container and store it in a cool dark place.
  • “Feed” the cake occasionally, by carefully unwrapping the plastic wrap, brushing more alcohol over the surfaces of the cake, and then re-wrapping.

Having said all that, if you find yourself in mid-December and you haven’t baked your gluten-free Christmas cake yet, don’t despair! This cake is still pretty darn good even when made as a last-minute cake. In fact, the one pictured in this post was only made a couple of weeks before Christmas, and we had no complaints!

Close up of the top of the gluten free Christmas cake.

Check out the underside of the cake, and the lack of fruity indents…

As I mentioned above, I only used the “batter trick” on the bottom, so you can see the difference here between the bottom and the sides, which still have holes. If you do it as I showed in the video above, the sides of the cake should be hole-free as well.

For more baking tips, make sure you check out my post on lining cake pans and making baking strips, and for gluten-free baking tips, check out this post too.

What to Do With Crumbly Fruit Cake

If worst comes to worst and for some reason, your fruit cake does turn out crumbly, here are two ideas for how to still enjoy it…

  1. Heat up the cake and serve it with some nice vanilla custard, brandy butter or ice cream. Ice cream is a nice summer option if you’re in New Zealand like I am, or any other country where it’s summer at Christmas time.
  2. Make some nice gluten free fruitcake truffles out of it. Just crumble some of the cake into a bowl, make some brandy buttercream or some brandy or almond flavoured white chocolate ganache, and mix just enough of that into the cake crumbs until the mixture will hold together nicely when you roll it into balls. Then dip them in some melted white or dark chocolate, or roll them in chopped nuts or sprinkles. A little bag of these would make a lovely festive gift!

If you’re a Christmas cake fan, you might also want to check out my gluten free mince pies. They’re super easy to make and filled with delicious homemade fruit mince (or you can use store-bought fruit mince to make them even quicker and easier!)

More Christmas Recipes:

Gluten Free Brandy Snaps
Gluten Free Trifle
Easy Peppermint Mousse

Gluten Free Fruit Cake Recipe

If you’re new to gf baking, or for more gluten free cake recipes, check out my Gluten Free Cakes for Decorating post.

gluten free fruit cake on a wooden board, with a small glass jug of brandy and a pastry brush.

Gluten Free Fruit Cake (Christmas Cake)

A rich, moist gluten free fruit cake, laced with brandy – this is the best gluten free Christmas cake or traditional wedding cake.
4.44 from 95 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Cuisine: British
Category: Cake Recipes
Makes: 32 servings
Cake Size: One 8 inch square (4 – 4.5 inch tall) cake.


  • 1.5 kg mixed dried fruit* see notes
  • 200 g glace cherries optional, replace with equal weight of another fruit if not using
  • 50 g glace ginger finely chopped (optional)
  • zest of 1 lemon or orange
  • 150 ml brandy
  • 500 g gluten-free flour**
  • 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom optional
  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg optional
  • 400 g butter at room temperature
  • 400 g brown sugar or muscovado sugar
  • 75 g golden syrup (¼ cup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • Extra brandy for brushing


  • Cut any bigger dried fruit (like dates, apricots, prunes, etc.) into smaller pieces, about the same size as a raisin.
  • Place the fruit and glacé cherries (if using) into a colander and rinse it under warm running water. You may need to do this in batches (I do each fruit separately as I weigh and cut it).
    Drain and place into a large bowl or plastic container.
  • Add the glacé ginger, citrus zest and brandy. Stir well, cover and leave overnight (stir or shake it occasionally, if you remember).
  • Preheat the oven to 150°C (approx. 300°F). Line an 8” square cake pan with baking paper, and wrap it with a baking strip. Make a foil lid. See this post for details on how to make those.
  • Sift the flour, xanthan gum and spices into a large bowl, and whisk to combine.
  • Place the butter, sugar, vanilla and golden syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer and a large bowl). Beat until fluffy, scraping down the bowl a couple of times.
    Lightly beat the eggs together in a small jug, then add gradually to the butter mixture, beating well in between additions. Don’t worry if it starts to look split.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly begin adding the flour mixture a few spoonfuls at a time. Once all of the flour is added, scrape down the bowl and mix again.
  • To make the bottom of the cake smoother (if you’ll be decorating the cake with the bottom as the top) then take out a few spoonfuls of batter and spread it over the bottom of the cake pan. Pop the pan into the fridge while you mix the fruit into the remaining batter.
  • If your mixer bowl isn’t big enough to fit the fruit in as well, transfer the batter to a larger bowl or saucepan. Add the fruit (and any remaining brandy that hasn’t been absorbed by the fruit) and mix well until evenly distributed into the batter.
  • Place a few large spoonfuls into the cake pan, and use a spatula or spoon to press it into the pan, especially the corners. Repeat until the pan is full. Wet your hands or a spatula and smooth the top.
  • Bake the cake for 4 – 4.5 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out mostly clean. To double-check, once the skewer comes out clean insert a thin-bladed knife into the cake and check that it comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached.
  • Leave to cool for 30 minutes, then brush or spoon over some more brandy. Fold down the baking paper, then cover the whole cake pan with foil and leave overnight to cool.
  • To store and mature the fruit cake, turn the cake out onto baking paper, brush all sides with more brandy, then wrap well in the baking paper, and store in an airtight container. To further flatten the top of the cake, store it upside down. The weight of the cake will help it to flatten. You can continue to brush more alcohol onto the cake at regular intervals until the cake is served.


*Mixed fruit – You can use a packaged dried fruit mixture or choose individual dried fruits to make up the 1.5kg of fruit. I used 500g sultanas (golden raisins), 300g raisins, 200g currants, 200g dates, 200g prunes and 100g dried apricots. Dried cranberries, apples, pears or figs are also great additions.
Nuts – If you like nuts in your fruit cake, you can also add in a handful or two of almonds or your favourite nuts, you don’t need to leave out or adjust anything else, just chop them up and add them to the batter when you add the fruit.
Gluten free flour – I use my gluten free baking flour blend in this recipe, but you can use your own favourite GF flour blend. If using a commercial flour blend that contains xanthan or guar gum, omit the xanthan gum from the recipe.
If you find that with the gluten-free flours you’ve used the cake is crumbly, don’t despair! Warm it up and serve it with custard, like a Christmas pudding, or mix it with ganache or almond flavoured buttercream to make cake balls.
Non-gluten free – This recipe works equally as well with regular all-purpose or high-grade wheat flour (also known as bread flour) if you don’t need it to be gluten-free. Use the same weight of flour, and omit the Xanthan gum.
Maturing the cake – Ideally, this cake should be made 2 – 3 months before you want to serve it, but it still tastes fantastic even if only matured for a week or two.
If decorating with marzipan/almond icing and/or fondant, make sure you check that they are also gluten free.


Serving: 1” x 2″ | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 110mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 38g

Nutritional Disclaimer: Any nutritional info provided is a computer generated estimate and is intended as a guide only.

Keywords: cake | Christmas cake | fruit cake | gluten free | wedding cake
Enjoyed this recipe?Tag @sweetness.and.bite on Instagram, and hashtag #sweetnessandbite so we can see it! ❤
Infographic showing the tips mentioned in the post for baking gluten free.

Happy baking, and if you’re making this as your gluten free Christmas cake, then Happy Christmas! 💜

You May Also Like…

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge Christmas Pudding is a fun and easy twist on a traditional festive treat.
Gluten Free Brandy Snaps - simple recipe for these lacy, crunchy and spicy gluten free biscuit tubes filled with silky Ultimate Whipped Cream.
Festive Almond and Honey Nougat ~ Classic nougat with festive printed wafer paper ~ by Sweetness & Bite
Crunchy Almond Toblerone Cheesecake

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’ve been baking gluten free for years and am always looking for great recipes to try. This recipe is better than great! The cake is divine and will now be given to gluten free friends as Christamas Cake – it’s that good! Thanks so much for sharing it. I have certainly over indulged in it as it’s delicious.

    1. Hi Vicki. You’re so welcome, and I’m glad you love this cake as much as I do! I’ve been known to overindulge in it too, in fact I generally have it for breakfast after Christmas (and in fact, any time of year in which I make it). Because, you know, it has fruit in it, so it’s clearly a sensible breakfast food ?

    1. Hi Karen, it really depends on the size of cake you need and how many people you need to feed. This recipe is suitable for a 9″ round cake pan, for other cake sizes you can input the ingredients into a calculator like the CakeOmeter and it will tell you how much you need for different cake pan sizes. Hope that helps.

  2. I made this cake last Christmas as my daughter-in-law had had to move to g-free foods. We were all a bit dubious about replacing a really excellent tried and tested traditional cake with a g-free one but our fears were groundless. The cake was delicious, moist and not crumbly when sliced. I put this down to the long soaking of the fruit which I left for about a week (mainly because I just found I didn’t have time to get on with the baking before then !). Now I just have to look up how to make a smaller one for a member of the family. I’d thoroughly recommend this cake.

    1. Hi Caz, thanks so much for your comment, I’m so glad you loved the recipe as much as I do! I probably shouldn’t say this (since I want to encourage people to use my recipes 😉 ), but if you really love your tried and tested recipe you could give it a go with this combination of gf flours, you may find it works well too. I know how hard it can be to give up those recipes we love so much when someone in the family can’t have gluten anymore, so it’s always great if you can make those recipes work gluten free too 🙂

    1. Hi Robyn, this recipe doesn’t use any baking powder. That’s part of what stops it from crumbling, if it had extra air in it then the crumbs would separate and it would crumble when cut. The air that is in the batter after beating the butter and sugar is just enough to stop it being too dense 🙂

          1. Well I just finished marzipaning a gluten free version (with Brandy as it is gluten free) and a non gluten free version (with Whisky) and I can honestly say the cut offs from both were absolutely scrumptious. This is a keeper.

            1. Hi Robyn, I’m so glad you like it! Ours is still wrapped up and awaiting decoration, although every day I’m tempted to just cut off a little bit and eat it… no one will know… right…? 😉

    2. Hi! Robyn,
      Did you follow your recipe exactly and just replace gluten free flour? Did you add xanthan gum in it? I m also looking for some mince tart recipes.


  3. God I can relate about the peel, will definitely leave peel out when trying to make this at Christmas…. And glace cherries, yuck! Nice post.

    1. Hi John, mixed peel really is one of my pet hates in cakes, and glace cherries are a guilty pleasure 😉 I hope your peel-less cake goes well 🙂

  4. How refreshing to read and learn from you delightful blurb on your recipe… Fantastic… Love the baking strips tutorial, I will use this so often now. I have just completed the making of this beautiful GF Christmas Cake for my daughters 40th Birthday Cake…. It’s in the oven now with its cap on!! The cake decorated is going to create this cake into a Tiffany Gift Box…. Can hardly wait for my daughter to cut and enjoy this divine cake…?

  5. Well our Christmas cake matured for a whole 4 hours…delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe I’m not a baker and this was easy to follow x

    1. Hey Belinda, I’m so glad you love it as much as I do (and that you can bake it yourself so I don’t have to post cakes down to Carla 😉 ) xx

    1. Hi Ingrid. The recipe is at the bottom of the post, if you’re on a mobile device you may need to tap the “Read More” button. Hope that helps 🙂

  6. One of your ingredients is ‘1 Tsp of mixed spice’ can you clarify what that is? Like a pumpkin pie spice? Thanks! I made mini loaves and baked them for 1 hour… they smell amazing and I can’t wait to taste them! thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Hi Kotoula. It’s the best smell, right?! Mixed spice usually consists of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice (sometimes also ginger and cloves) and is very similar to (actually pretty much the same as!) pumpkin pie spice 🙂

      1. I recently found out that nutmeg has sharp edges, so if you are looking after your intestinal tract, (gluten sensitive etc), maybe choose other items. Hope this helps.

    1. Hi Darlene, golden syrup is a sugar syrup kind of similar to molasses except much lighter in colour and not as thick. It’s a common product in Britain, NZ and Australia but doesn’t seem to be as popular elsewhere. If you can’t get your hands on some then you can just leave it out of this recipe and it won’t affect the cake too much, it’s purely there for a bit of extra flavour. Hope that helps! 🙂

  7. I’m sitting waiting for the current incarnation of this cake to finish. Love the aroma. I make it with Nuttelex as I’m also dairy free. I’ve made 2 Christmas versions and my 40th birthday cake last year. This one is for Dad’s 70th next month. Unless told, no one knows it’s an allergy friendly cake which is always a good sign. In fact, it’s one of my favourite fruitcake recipes yet and I’m the designated fruitcake cook in the family. I’ve found Spiced Rum to add a nice kick as an alternative to brandy (it’s what was on hand), the current version has tawny port. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Hey Sally 🙂 Ooooh, the spiced rum sounds amazing!! I’m really glad you love the recipe as much as I do. And now I’m going to have to keep an eye out for spiced rum!

  8. I need a gluten, dairy and nut free fruit cake to use for a wedding cake. I’m really interested to try this recipe. My son wants to keep the top tier for the first baby as tradition dictates. Do you know if this cake will keep for a long time like standard fruit cake?

    1. Hi Pat. This cake does definitely keep well, but I haven’t actually personally tried keeping it for longer than about three months (it never lasts longer than that in our house, someone always gives in and cuts it!). Theoretically it will last as long as any other fruit cake, the alcohol (especially when it has been ‘fed’ with more alcohol for a few weeks before being decorated) and the high sugar content in the fruit preserves it, but I would hate to tell you that it will definitely last and then have it not. What I would suggest doing (if this wasn’t already your plan) to keep it is to freeze it after the wedding, ideally removing the icing first, wrapped well in plastic wrap and placed in an airtight container. You can freeze it with the icing on, but you can have issues with condensation as the cake thaws which won’t do the icing any favours. It’s best to let it thaw still fully wrapped and in the container until completely thawed, that way the condensation will form on the outside of the container and not on the cake.

      Alternatively if you have a tried-and-true recipe you would normally use that keeps well, I’d be happy to make suggestions on how you can make it gluten and dairy free.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      1. I usually use Delias traditional Christmas cake recipe and it would be wonderful if the “free from tiers “appeared to be the same … I can Diferentiate by not using marzipan on that tier.

        1. That’s probably a good idea (and you can’t really go wrong with Delia!) 😉 Ok, so what I do when I’m converting recipes is take the flour amount (by weight, not by cup measurement) and use 50% tapioca starch, 40% brown rice flour and 10% potato starch to make up that amount. Then add about a teaspoon of Xanthan gum (for an 8″ cake recipe, if the cake is bigger you’ll need to add a bit more). That’s basically the combination of flours I use for all my cakes these days, and I get really good results with it. If you want to use a purchased gluten free flour blend then use it as a weight-for-weight substitute, if it has a gum ingredient (usually Xanthan or Guar Gum, but sometimes it’s CMC, also known as E466) then you don’t need to add any Xanthan gum. The gums are there to help bind the ingredients together in the absence of gluten. I still find I get much better results from mixing my own flours though, a lot of the packaged blends are very high in starch and tend to make for a crumbly cake.

          For dairy free you’ll need to use a dairy free butter substitute, I don’t know where you live but here we can get a baking margarine in the same chiller section as the butter, and there is also a product called Nuttelex which a lot of cake decorators use that for both baking and for buttercream. (Despite the name it doesn’t actually contain nuts!)

          Any other questions just let me know 🙂

  9. Rather late to the party, and probably too late for the wedding in question, but just a note for Pat or anyone planning to do “free from” tiers: they’re fine for people who have non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, but coeliacs can’t eat gluten-free cake that’s touched gluten-containing cake: even one tiny crumb that’s crossed from the main cake to the “free from” cake can make them sick.

    If you have the tiers physically separate, and make sure to keep them separate, and have separate servers, it’ll be OK – but if you really want to be kind, tell the coeliac what you’ve done, without asking (they hate having to be “that person” who asks all the time).

  10. I am going to make this in the next few weeks, but I have a couple of questions.

    1) Can I substitute molasses for the golden syrup? I prefer those really dark, molasses cakes. 🙂
    2) If I were to make this non-alcoholic, would I soak the fruit for a week in juice, and then baste the cake afterwards with more juice? I’m making this for a diabetic.
    3) Is the cake pretty moist to begin with? I made a fruitcake last year that was gluten free and alcohol free and it was kind of dry.

    Thanks so much! This looks delicious!

    1. Hi Shannon. Yes you can definitely replace the golden syrup with molasses, you may want to reduce the amount a little bit, but then again if you love dark molasses-y cakes then you might want to leave it at the same amount 😉

      If you’re not using alcohol then I would prepare the fruit as per the recipe and leave it in the fridge overnight rather than on the bench, as fruit juice can sometimes go a bit funny if it’s left at room temperature for too long. Then just take the fruit out of the fridge an hour or so before you want to bake the cake so it can warm up a bit. You can feed the cake with orange juice when it comes out of the oven, but I wouldn’t add more to it during the maturing process. And I would suggest only doing it a week, maybe two at the most before you want to eat it. The alcohol helps to preserve the cake, so making it with juice will reduce the keeping qualities. It’s probably best to mature it in the fridge, that’ll help it keep a bit longer. Just wrap it up really well, pop it in an airtight container in the fridge. I can’t guarantee how long it will last though, as I haven’t done it that way before.

      Yes it’s definitely a moist cake, I hate dry fruit cakes, so I wouldn’t be able to eat this one if it was dry 😉 And I don’t think it’s only the alcohol that makes it moist, as a couple of times I’ve made the cake, put it away to mature and kinda forgotten about it so I didn’t feed it with any more alcohol, and it was still nice and moist.

      Hope that helps, and if you do give it a go with the orange juice, I’d love to know how it goes 🙂

      1. I just finished wrapping these in foil to cool overnight.I had to try a bite as the smell in the house drove me insane (in a good way). This is AMAZING!

        1) I used molasses instead of golden syrup and it’s delicious.
        2) I used way too much glace cherries and it still worked out well. 🙂
        3) I did not use alcohol. Instead I used the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 mandarin orange, as well as a citrus juice blend. I basted the loaves with the juice after they cooled 30 min. The smell and taste is out of this world!
        4) This made 2-6″ Wilton round cake pans, as well as a a 9″ long loaf pan.
        5) I used the baking strips idea and I think it makes everything so moist as fruitcake can be pretty dry.

        I will freeze the remaining loaves as they won’t “preserve” sans alcohol.

        This is the best fruitcake recipe I have ever made or eaten. Thank you Natalie for sharing this. You truly are an amazing baker!

        1. Yay!!! I’m so glad you loved it! I’m going to have to try it with molasses, methinks. (And there is no such thing as too many cherries 😉 ) xx

    1. Hi Julie, almond flour wouldn’t be a good substitute for gluten free flour in this recipe, it doesn’t bind well enough to hold the cake together on its own. You could replace a small amount of the flour with almond meal for flavour, but it really does need the other flours to stop it crumbling 🙂

  11. loving the sound of this cake which i will try next week once brought all the fruit especially cherries.
    My question is I need to also do dairy free can I use Margarine- Oliviani . Nice been able to find a GF xmas cake that people enjoy dont last long in our house thats for sure.

    1. Hi Kazza, I can’t say for sure as I haven’t tried it, but I think replacing the butter with Olivani should work. It may not cream together quite as well with the sugar, but that shouldn’t be an issue as adding air to the batter isn’t really imperative in a fruit cake – it’s supposed to be a dense cake anyway. If you give it a go I’d love to know how you get on! 🙂

  12. Hi Natalie,

    I am making this again for 2017. It was a hit last year so I’m coming back to it. I don’t want to use golden syrup so I replaced it with maple syrup. I also soaked my fruit in a large gallon glass jar for 2 weeks, in Cuban rum and just kept rolling the jar around once a day to keep the fruit mixed up.

    I do love citrus peel however, but I made my own. I candied lemon and oranges cut into strips and chunks, in local multifloral honey and chopped them up fine and added them to the fruit mix. I tasted the batter and wow it was out of this world delicious!

    It is baking now, and I used 8 – 5 inch mini loaf pans, set into a large roaster with about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom so these thin foil loaf pans don’t scorch. Well here’s hoping! I’m no expert but I wanted mini loaves to share with people. I also covered the large roaster holding all the mini loaf pans with foil to keep it moist, and I’m praying, from burning.

    I see from my last comment in 2016 that I did mini loaves, but they were smaller then these and I baked them for an hour. I will test these in an hour and then probably remove the foil from the pan and maybe let it go for another 1/2 hour or so.

    I took pics but don’t see how I can share them to show you.. Instagram maybe?

    I will let you know how they turn out! Fingers crossed! Thanks again for such a great recipe! Happy holidays in 2017!

    1. Hi Kotoula, I remember you making this recipe last year and I’m really happy to hear you loved it enough to make it again this year! You citrus peel actually sounds really delicious even to a peel-phobe like myself, perhaps I need to try making my own and maybe I won’t hate it like the store-bought stuff! 😉 I would love to see your pics, you can tag me in them on Instagram ( @sweetness.and.bite ) or post them on my Facebook page 🙂

      1. I will put the pics online, because wow they sure look delicious! I ended up baking them for 2.5 hours, till the cake tester came out clean. They were cooked in a more moist environment with the water in the pan and being covered for most of the cooking time. I was worried about the mini loaf size getting dried out if I cooked them in an open oven, and the method you described to shield a large cake pan wouldn’t work with 8 foil mini loaf pans. I uncovered them for the last 30 mins.

        I have them brushed with Cuban rum and wrapped up to age so I can’t report on the texture yet, but a small taste was out of this world amazing. I appreciated your gluten free flour mix weights, as this was very helpful to get the flours right.

        The key to getting a nice mixed peel is to use the best quality organic fruit you can find, and chopping them up really fine, because you don’t want big chunks in your cake. I used the whole fruit, and slowly simmered it in honey until all the juice had evaporated and turned thick and sticky with intense flavor. There are recipes online that explain this process of how to candy citrus peel. You can use sugar and water if you can’t or don’t want to use the honey.

        1. They looked amazing! Yes you’re right it would have been way to hard to make tiny baking strips for all of them! We have two lemon trees so I might have to try making the candied peel from them. They grow lemons the size of melons so it wouldn’t take many 😉

  13. Hi Natalie, I am looking forward to trying this delicious recipe but have one question before I start. Do I need potato FLOUR or potato STARCH for the flour mix? Thanks.

    1. Hi Maria, you need potato starch for this recipe. Sometimes places will mislabel the product and call the starch ‘flour’, but to be sure, the starch is a bright white and has no real potato smell (this is the one we want), whereas the flour is a creamy/off-white colour and smells like potatoes (not so good for baking). Hope that helps 🙂

  14. Hi Natalie, if I use normal flour rather than gf do I still need the gum? And also, I am going to cut into quarters to give as gifts, would the 8 inch be too high do you think? I wondered if it would bake ok in a 10 inch. Thank you

    1. Hi Dannielle, if you’re making it with normal flour then nope, you don’t need the gum 🙂 In an 8″ tin the cake is about 4″ high, so if you’re cutting it into 4 then they’d basically be 4×4″ cubes. If you did it in a 10″ tin then I would guess they’d be about 3″ high, maybe?

      1. I made this in a 10 inch tin then cut into quarters, it was a perfect height for the smaller cakes. Cooked in about 2.5 hours. And so easy to decorate with the perfectly flat tops! Will definitely be making this every year, thank you.

  15. Hi Linda, I can’t see why it wouldn’t work, although I don’t know how much of the brandy that kind of fruit would absorb during the soaking process, so maybe reduce the amount of brandy and see how it goes. If it does absorb it then you could add more.

  16. Hi,

    I have this fruit cake in the oven now. Just wondered if the foil lid stays on for the entire cooking time?

    1. Hi Rachael, I usually leave it on for most of the cooking time. Sometimes I’ll take it off for the last half hour or so if it seems like it’s been taking a long time to bake. But I think that’s just impatience on my part 😉

  17. Can I just skip the brandy in this recipe? I figure it adds to the flavour, but does it add to the texture? Should I add a bit more water to make up for any moisture? I really don’t want to add brandy. I live in Canada where all alcohol is extremely expensive.

    1. Hi Sarah, you can soak the fruit in orange juice (or other juice) instead. The brandy that’s brushed on afterwards helps preserve the cake, so if you need to keep the cake for a while (longer than a week or two) you’ll just need to store it in the fridge 🙂

  18. I would like to make this for a couple of gluten free relatives but I am not as fussy as some people. No baking strips, no lined pan, etc. Can I just use my 9 x 5 loaf pans for this?
    Also, I noticed that in one picture there are figs, dates, raisins, apricots and then cherries. Some of these are not on the list of ingredients. Are the part of th mixed fruit?
    I love the glace cherries by the way. I will also include black currants (not easy to find), cranberries, zest and dried apples as well as golden raisins, figs, and dates.
    As soon as you give me the go ahead, I will use my pans. Thanks. : )

    1. Hi there, yes you can use loaf pans for this. I use sultanas (golden raisins), raisins, currants, dates, prunes and apricots, if you scroll down to the notes at the bottom of the recipe I give the amounts of each that I use. But you can use any dried fruits that you like to make up the total 1.5kg of fruit 🙂

    1. Hi Jill, I don’t have any experience using lupin flour so I’m afraid I can’t tell you whether it would work or not. You may just have to experiment with it! 🙂

    1. Hi Vimi, you can definitely make it without the xanthan gum if you prefer. It may be a bit more crumbly when you cut it though. If you are able to make it in advance and mature it for a while that can help it hold together 🙂

  19. Hi Natalie – thanks for this recipe! Trying it today with but using half the recipe to make a smaller cake – any tips on cooking time? I am assuming 2.5 hours would be right? I am using Drambuie as my alcohol 🙂 I eat gluten free but as am not celiac I am happy to risk a bit of gluten in the boozy element. I will add raw almond to the top too.

    1. Hi there, it will depend on the size of the cake tin and therefore the depth of the cake mixture, but I would start with maybe 1 to 1.5 hours and then go from there. You should be able to smell it when it’s getting close to being ready, then you can take it out and test it. Because fruitcakes are dense and don’t really rise, you don’t have to worry about the cake sinking if you open the oven to check it before it’s ready. You can test it the usual way with a skewer, but I also like to test it with a thin-bladed knife once the skewer comes out clean. If you have a probe thermometer you can also use that to check the internal temperature (although this isn’t as accurate with fruitcakes as it is with other cakes, as the fruit can get hotter than the rest of the batter). I have a post about checking whether cakes are done if you want to check that out 🙂 https://sweetnessandbite.com/how-to-check-cake-cooked-perfectly-every-time/

  20. Hi, I hope I’m not repeating a question here…. how much alcohol and how often in the maturing section?
    I didn’t have an 8 inch square tin so i used a 9 inch round. The cake grew so much in the oven!! It over flowed the 3 inch high sides. Luckly my lining paper went up over 4 inches and I had made the strips 5 inches.

    1. Hi Kay! There is no hard and fast rule as to how much alcohol to use when maturing the cake, nor how often to brush it, it’s really up to you. I tend to just use as much alcohol as the cake will absorb, you don’t want it making a big puddle on the wrapping. So I just brush each side until it stops soaking it up. Probably somewhere between a quarter to half a cup. I just pour some into a glass and brush it from that. Start with less and add more to the cup if you need more, so you don’t waste it if you have too much (unless you want to drink it, up to you!) ? If you poke holes in the cake with a skewer then it will absorb more, but I don’t usually do that. As for how often, usually I just say “as often as you remember to do it!”. Sometimes I only remember to do it a couple of times, but you could do it once a week or once a fortnight, depending on how early you make it. So if you’ve just baked it, you could get in at least a couple of “feeds” before Christmas.

      Wow, that really did rise a lot! Usually this cake doesn’t rise much at all, as it has no raising agent. Did you maybe use a self-raising flour blend? Either way, it’ll still taste good! Hope you enjoy 🙂

    1. Hi Rita. I’m afraid I can’t tell you for sure as I don’t store my fruit cakes in the fridge, but since it can last at room temperature for months, I would say you could probably keep it in the fridge for longer than that. Just make sure it is well wrapped and sealed because the fridge can sometimes dry cakes out. Hope that helps 🙂

  21. Hi, I wonder if you could help. I have a fruitcake recipe that I use which is very similar to yours, I tried to turn it gluten free by using doves farm GF plain flour. The notable differences in my recipe is that I kept the 4 tsps of baking powder in and 12 (yes 12) eggs and didn’t use xanthan gum. The cake came out with grease bubbling from the top and a horrible rubbery texture. Any thoughts on how I could rectify the recipe? I’m thinking maybe less eggs for a start but it’s my first time baking GF and would love to crack this recipe. Any help would be so so welcome. Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Sophia. Oh no, that’s pretty heartbreaking! It’s hard to tell without seeing the recipe, but I can try and take a couple of guesses at what the problem could be. Does the recipe use cup measurements or weights? I find that recipes with weight measurements convert far more successfully than those with cups – gluten-free flours don’t tend to be the same in density as wheat flour, and in general cup measurements are quite inaccurate. That tends to make even more of a difference in gluten-free baking than regular baking, so if you can use a recipe with weight measurements then they’re usually more successful. If there turned out to be not quite enough flour in the cake, that could explain the grease leaking out, as it wasn’t absorbed by the flour. It does sound like a lot of eggs, too, depending on what size cake it’s supposed to make it could be more eggs than necessary. I was working on a mud cake recipe that kept turning out rubbery until I reduced the eggs, then it was perfect. So you could try reducing the eggs. Also sometimes gluten-free flour mixes use too much of a gum ingredient in their blend – but while I’m not familiar with dove’s farm flour myself (as it’s not sold here in New Zealand) I do know that some of my readers use it successfully in my recipes, so unless it was a bad batch I don’t think it would be as likely to be that. You could try it with a different flour though, just to see.

      I hope that helps somewhat. Bets of luck!

  22. Hi Natalie,
    This is a great tasting fruit cake, I made my first one this Christmas as I have just gone on to a Gluten Free diet and I really like dried fruit. I tried a half measure first cake as my family are not into fruit cake as I am as fruit cake was my mothers standard 70 years ago and I was brought up on them.

    It is quite a heavy/solid cake and I was wondering if I reduced the amount of fruit and increased the flour and added extra baking powder I could create a lighter cake for every day use?

    What amounts would you suggest I try, as you may guess I am not a Baker by background.

    Thanks again for a great receipt.

    John H (74)

    1. Hi John. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂 You could reduce the amount of fruit in the cake, and add a little baking powder to it. I wouldn’t add a huge amount of baking powder, maybe 1/2 a teaspoon. I’d suggest you give it a go with the fruit reduced by 250g – 500g, and the half teaspoon of baking powder, and see how you go. You can always tweak it a bit more the next time if you need to 🙂

  23. Hi
    How tall was the original cake/tin?
    I need this info to convert the size for a wedding cake.
    Would the cake definitely be dry without strips?
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Maddy, the cake tin I use is a 4″ high 8″ square pan. The cake generally comes to the top of the pan, sometimes a bit higher. But it tends not to rise very much. For future reference, I always pop the size and height of all my cakes at the top of the recipe card, to make it easier for people to convert 🙂 The cake won’t necessarily be dry without the strips, as long as you are brushing it with alcohol when it comes out of the oven which helps to keep it moist, but the strips do help a lot to prevent the edges of the cake from burning before the cake is cooked right through to the middle.

  24. Hi,
    I would love to try your cake recipe to make my wedding cake, unfortunately I’ve been newly diagnosed as intolerant of dairy products & eggs. Have you ever tried making this cake using dairy free and egg alternatives and if so can you give me the amounts please.

    1. Hi Diane. I’m afraid I haven’t made this cake without dairy or eggs, but I think it would be worth giving it a go. I’d suggest using dairy-free margarine that says it can be used for baking (they’ll usually say so on the packaging) and use the same weight of the margarine as you would butter. You’ll probably need to use an egg “replacer” like Orgran (or equivalent product where you live) and follow the instructions on the package for the amount to use to replace each egg. The replacer will help to bind the cake together, otherwise it will be very crumbly. I’d definitely suggest doing a small half-batch trial cake beforehand to see how it goes so you can tweak it if you need to.

      Good luck, and if you do give it a go I would love to know how you get on 🙂 And either way I hope you have an amazing wedding ?

  25. Hi Natalie. I made this cake recently and it’s only August !!!but it looked so wonderful and so beautifully presented. I wrapped it up with baking paper and foil and put it in the freezer until December and it smelled divine when I had cooked it and even the batter tasted yum, I didn’t include the brandy around the sides but on the top is where I painted it on so roll on December so I can have a taste. It’s wonderful these days that we can have such cakes to satisfy our bellies and pallets. You are one clever lady Natalie . thank you

    1. Hi Carolyn, you are so welcome! And you’re so organised! I hope that come December you and your loved ones really enjoy it 💜

  26. Hi Natalie,
    I do intolerance cooking for other people. I have Fructose Malabsorption – Polyol Intolerant which means I can’t eat most of my own baking or fruit, veg, most herbs and spices.
    I can’t have Xanthan or Guar gums so I use ground chia seeds instead. I make chia eggs by soaking 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds in 3 tablespoons of water for each egg needed and it works very well.
    In my Lactose Free or Dairy Free recipes, I use Nuttelex Original which is a plant based butter and can be found in the normal dairy fridge section along side other butter and margarines in just about any supermarkets in Australia.
    I am going to make this cake for some people who have Oxalate intolerance as I can use the fruits that they can have safely and I am able to use the flour mix as it won’t do them any harm. These people should not have almond meal as it is high in oxalates; however, they should be able to have chestnut or macadamia nuts as they are low in oxalates. I never cook with any coconut products as I am allergic to it and will not have it in my place plus there are many other people who are intolerant to coconut products as well.
    I am also going to try to make some mince pies out of the fruit filling as I think that it will work very well with a chestnut pastry base or a Gluten Free sweet pastry crust.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the comments, so please keep up the good work.
    I have written 3 intolerance cookbooks and in doing the research for them I found out about the chia eggs.
    I have started writing a fourth intolerance cookbook which will be mainly Low to Medium Oxalate recipes and will also include ways for Lactose Intolerant people to make and eat desserts that they never thought they they would be able to eat and digest safely. I am doing these recipes with the help of a major milk producer so they should work well.
    Would you have any issues if I used my version of your recipe in my new cookbook. You will be acknowledged for it at the beginning of the Introduction Page.

    1. Hi Joan, my apologies for the delayed reply, I was away for the past week. Yes, that would be fine for you to add the recipe to your cookbook with the acknowledgement. Thanks for asking me as many people would just use it anyway. I would love to check out your version of the recipe, in case I get this kind of dietary question from a reader with oxalate intolerance – I get all sorts of adaptation questions for allergies and intolerances and it sounds like you really know your stuff on this one! You can flick me an email to natalie(at)sweetnessandbite(dot)com if you prefer 🙂 Thanks!

  27. How difficult is it to find the F******g recipe on this what seems an interesting blog, what with adwords after every paragraph, why dd I bother

    1. Hi Mark, so sorry to hear you had such trouble getting to the recipe. Just to let you know – the ads in my content are what help pay to keep this blog running and to keep the recipes completely free for my readers. The ad density I use is currently lower than the maximum recommended by the Coalition for Better Ads guidelines (which means I actually forgo some ad income in order to have fewer ads on my website and keep things more user friendly for my readers).

      I can totally understand if a quick scroll past a few ads isn’t your thing though. You might like to consider purchasing a recipe book instead, it may be much less frustrating for you 🙂

  28. Being Gluten and Dairy intolerant, I had given up on finding a purchased fruit cake as they were tasteless, other friends and family did not find them palatable and they not worth the cost. I found the recipe on your site just by accident while looking up some other gluten free items. I loved all the explanation of the why’s and how to, etc. So I made the fruitcake last year and totally enjoyed it. Unfortunately, so did everybody else and they had no idea that it was gluten and dairy free. I had to pretend it was all gone while I had some hidden away just for myself.
    Have already had requests for it again this year. To make less work/time to prepare, I cut up the fruit weeks ago and kept it sealed, soaking in brandy, in the refrigerator. Now I am ready to put it all together.

    I would like to add nuts, Should I roast the almonds? Would hazelnuts work as well? How much could I add before I would affect the recipe or should I just remove some of the chopped fruit to compensate? Your Australian recipe has now become Canadian by the substitution of Maple Syrup instead of the golden syrup. Thankyou so much for sharing this recipe.

    1. Hi Elaine, I’m so sorry for my delayed reply, I’ve been away and I didn’t get a notification of your comment. I may be too late by now, but yes you can add nuts, and if it’s just a handful or so then I wouldn’t worry about leaving anything else out of the recipe. If it was, say, more than a cup of chopped nuts, then I’d just reduce the fruit a bit. But this is a pretty forgiving recipe so it shouldn’t make much difference. I’ve added chopped blanched (skinned) almonds before, but I think hazelnuts would be nice too. I would probably toast the hazelnuts and rub them in a tea towel to get rid of the skins, as they can get a bit papery, but they could soften up as the cake bakes so it wouldn’t be a big deal if they weren’t skinned.

      I’ll have to try the maple syrup, I love maple syrup on pretty much anything but I never thought to try it in this!

      My apologies again for the late reply!

    2. So glad I read your comment about the maple syrup! I’m in Canada too and was debating whether to search for golden syrup or use a substitute. This is a no-brainer now that I know you used maple syrup!! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Sarah, this tin is about 4″ high 🙂 I definitely recommend a deeper tin like this for fruit cake if you can, because you can get that bit of extra height to the cake. Hope that helps. x

  29. Natalie I have just tried your cake it’s a little early I know and it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Moist and flavoursome.

    Thank you

  30. Thank you for this recipe Natalie. I had never made a fruit cake before but was inspired by this gluten free version. I used coconut oil instead of butter as one of my daughters has endometriosis and avoids dairy. I also omitted the raisins and used sorghum flour along with some tapioca. I also halved the recipe and baked it in a 9 in springform tin. Doused it it with brandy for about 10 days. Topped with marzipan and some orange zest scattered on the topping It is delicious!

    1. Hi Umber, that’s great, I’m so glad you loved it and that it worked so well with your substitutions! I always think that’s the sign of a good recipe – when it can work so well with different ingredients 🙂 Hope you’ve had a wonderful festive season and all the best for the new year 💜

  31. Hi.
    Just wondering can v use plain flour instead of G Free. And avoid Xantham gum. And keep the rest of the ingredients the same? I.e if v dont want to make a G Free cake

  32. Hi!

    This recipe looks great! Much like you, I’m terribly disorganized, but this year I’m trying to be better, so I want to get ahead on Xmas preps! I definitely want to try this for sure. Just wondering-I assume I would do the basting etc until closer to Xmas and then only add marzipan or fondant? Or would it keep even if I add the marzipan/fondant earlier?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Priya, I prefer to just baste it with the alcohol until a week or so before Christmas. I know some people will ice fruit cakes with marzipan and fondant earlier than that, but I’m an anxious person who always wonders what will might be happening under the icing, so I prefer to just wait. I think a week or two is a pretty safe bet, it also means the fondant won’t dry out and get too hard. Once the cake is iced it’s best to keep it in a clean box rather than an airtight container as the fondant will go sticky if it’s kept in a container.

      Hope that helps, and good for you on getting a head start on your Xmas prep! I wish I was more organised about Xmas every year 😂

    1. Hi Rita, you should be able to, however you will need to put less batter in the tin (use a bigger tin/multiple tins) as the cake will rise a lot more than the original recipe, which is designed with no raising agents at all. It may also be a little crumblier, as the lack of rise in the recipe is one of the things that helps it stay dense and not crumble when cut.

      So long story short, yes you can, but the cake will be a slightly different texture and you’ll need to increase the pan size or use another pan as well. 🙂

    2. Hi Natalie,
      Many thanks for the information for not using a self raising flour will
      stick with the recipe,which I have made over the last couple of years and has turned out brilliant every time

  33. What brand of dried fruit do you use? Does it say gluten free?
    Also which brandy is gluten free or is it all gluten free?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Mj

      Dried fruit itself is gluten free by ingredient/doesn’t contain gluten, but I’ve not yet seen one that is tested for gluten and sold as a gluten free product (I live in New Zealand, that may be different in different countries). While that means there is technically a chance of cross-contamination, I would personally think that’s highly unlikely in this case. However, as with any food for people with Coeliac disease, that is a personal choice as to whether to consume food that isn’t tested and labelled as gluten free.

      Brandy is gluten free, as it is a distilled alcohol made from grapes. There may be different “flavoured” brandys that may not be, but regular brandy is absolutely fine 🙂

      Hope that helps!