Gluten free Christmas cake


I find there’s nothing like a good Christmas cake!  For one, they’re so beautiful to look at 🙂  And once you’ve cut through that gorgeous icing, you get a delicious “Christmas taste” – a simply wonderful mix of spices, dried fruit and brandy.  It makes me think of mulled wine, mince pies, and winter citrus fruit, all combined in a unique fashion.

My gluten free recipe for Christmas cake is an adaptation of Nigella Lawson’s fabulous recipe for a traditional Christmas cake.  Everyone agrees my gluten free version is delicious, and it was very easy to make.  The only downside is that it is very crumbly.  I haven’t – yet – found a way to remedy that.  But I’ll keep working on it and if I find a solution, I’ll change the recipe.

As with the Christmas pudding the trickiest part is the planning ahead.  A good Christmas cake needs to stay in a cool place for a few weeks to mature.  Try to make it in the last week of November or the first week of December.  Also, don’t forget the icing part!  You need to start icing the cake two days before Christmas, and make sure you have plenty of time the day before Christmas to put the finishing touches.

Anyway… here it is.  Hope you enjoy it!


  • 350 g dark sultana raisins
  • 150 g blond raisins
  • 100 g glacé cherries
  • 75 g chopped pecan nuts
  • 200 ml brandy
  • 150 g butter (softened)
  • 90 g brown sugar
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g gluten free flour (I used Schaer cake mix C)
  • 75 g ground almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt

For the covering and icing:

  • 500 g plain white marzipan
  • 3 egg whites
  • 500 g icing sugar



  • Place the sultanas, blond raisins and glacé cherries in a saucepan.
  • Add the brandy and bring to the boil.
  • Take the pan off the heat, cover it and let it stand overnight.
  • The next day, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the lemon zest.
  • Add the eggs and beat well.
  • Mix the gluten free flour with ground almonds, spices and salt
  • Add the soaked fruit and the flour mix to the butter and egg cream.
  • Mix well
  • Add the chopped pecan nuts last and mix well again.
  • Line an 18 cm round cake tin with non-stick baking paper (make sure you line the bottom and the sides.
  • Pour your cake mixture into the cake tin
  • Bake in the oven for 2 hours, at 150°C


  • When your cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely.
  • Leave it in the cake tin and cover it with silver foil.
  • Place it into a larger closed tin, or in a plastic cake container.
  • Keep it in a cool place – not the fridge, but just a cupboard or room that isn’t overheated.
  • Twice a week, open the tin, uncover the cake, and pour a little brandy evenly on the top of the cake.  This keeps it moist and makes it even more delicious for Christmas day!  I usually make my cake 2 to 3 weeks before Christmas, and it seems to work well.


Now the final steps, 2 days before Christmas…:

To have a truly beautiful cake, you need to ice it and decorate it 🙂 …

  • 2 days before Christmas, unwrap your cake and place it onto a pretty dish.
  • Roll your marzipan into a large round sheet and cover your cake completely.
  • Trim the edges off at the bottom of the cake.
  • Leave your cake like that for 24 hours, so the marzipan dries.


  • 1 day before Christmas, make the icing:
  • Beat the eggwhites until they are stiff.
  • Gently add the icing sugar, while beating the eggwhites continuously.
  • When all the icing sugar is blended into the eggwhites, stop beating and spread the icing all over your cake.
  • Let the icing dry completely – it takes about half a day – before putting the final touches of decoration.  Let your imagination run wild!  This year, as you can see on the picture, I wrapped a ribbon round the cake and put some marzipan decorations on top.