This cake is flavourful, dense and moist. My grandparents are still reeling from the fact that it’s vegan. I am, a little, as well. I found the lemon flavour to be particularly delicious. It was a “gift” cake and so there was no time to taste it beforehand – that’s always the risk with a cake, isn’t it? You’ll never really know whether it works until that first public cut.
But my grandmother text me and said: “this cake is absolutely beautiful. You should start your own vegan bakery xxx<3”. So you can take that how you wish. A good Christmas cake is a momentous occasion. I hate a dry cake – although I’d still eat some with coffee if it was offered.
Another issue with a Christmas cake is that they usually require eggs! So I am grateful to have found this recipe at suma.coop and therefore got to avoid any sciencey-cake-making.
340g self raising flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
170g brown sugar
750g mixed fruit*
1 lemon, zested
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 cup milk
30ml fortified wine, extra and optional
*Note: Several months before Christmas, I put my fruit to marinate. You could do this a week beforehand, but I like to do it a while ahead, as a preference. I add the fruit to a lidded container. I stir through 1/4 cup marmaladeand 1/4 cup fortified wine. Stir well. Add 1/2 tsp mixed spice if you want. Seal the container and set somewhere dark until needed. The fruit absorbs very well! I just pour it all into the cake.
My fruit mix usually uses sultanas, mixed peel, dates and glace cherries.
1. Preheat your oven to 180*C and line a large 20cm cake tin.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and spices.
3. Using a stand mixer or your fingers, smoosh the butter and flour together to make a bread-crumb-like texture. Add in the sugar, fruit and lemon zest. Stir together.
4. In a small saucepan, heat the milk on low. It just needs to be warm to the touch and NOT boiling at all. Stir in the bicarbonate soda. Pour over the fruit mix in the bowl and stir well.
5. After working out your arm muscles, pour the mix into the cake tin. Bake for 45 minutes. After this, reduce the heat to 160*C and cook for another 45 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the tin, before turning out on to a wire rack
6. Poke a few holes in the top, and pour over the wine.