Sugar & Dairy Free Fruit Cake
This festive fruit cake has a lovely flavour, is moist, dense and keeps for 2-3 weeks in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. Double this recipe to make a larger cake. It is perfect for weddings, Christmas and special occasions… and very yummy with whipped cream or yoghurt on the side.
It contains no butter, sugar, wheat or salt - a cake everyone can enjoy at a special celebration!
We used spelt flour to make the cake. Spelt is an ancient variety of the modern wheat. Many people with a wheat intolerance can enjoy moderate amounts of spelt flour. It does contain gluten, so use a gluten free flour mix if you need to.
½ kg mixed dried fruit
3/4 cup fruit juice or water
½ cup nuts
1 cup spelt, wholemeal or gluten free flour
1½ tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp slivered almonds (optional)
1) The previous night prepare the fruit mix. Use any combination of the following dried fruits: sultanas, raisins, prunes, currants, dried apricots, peaches, nectarines, apple mango, figs, pineapple etc. (Beware of store-bought dried fruit mixtures because they may contain added sugar or colouring.) Chop large pieces of fruit into pieces the size of sultanas.
2) In a saucepan combine water and orange juice. Bring to a boil then add the chopped fruit. Continue to heat for several minutes while stirring, until the water almost all absorbed. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Leave overnight or for at least 2 hours, to cool and soak up the liquid.
4) Line the bottom and sides of a cake tin with baking paper. The thickness of the cake will depend on the size of the tin you use – which may affect the baking time. Thick or thin, you’ll still have a delicious cake!
5) For the nuts use any combination of cashew pieces, Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts or hazel nuts. Chop the nuts finely and put them in a large container with the wholemeal flour and the baking powder. Mix thoroughly.
6) In a mixing bowl large enough to hold everything, beat the eggs until thick and fluffy with a rotary beater (or a strong arm). Add the cold fruit mixture and the dry mixture. Mix with a clean hand until everything is thoroughly combined.
7) Put the mixture into the cake tin by hand, pushing it evenly into the corners. Level off the top with a damp hand. Sprinkle evenly with the slivered almonds (optional). Bake in the middle of the oven. Start testing the cake after 45 minutes. It may take up to 1¼ hours until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean, showing the cake is ready.
8) Stand the hot, cooked cake on rack. When cold, wrap the cake in greaseproof paper and place in an airtight container for a day or two before cutting (if you can resist!). Cut the cake into 1cm x 4cm slices using a sharp serrated knife. These strips freeze well in airtight bags.