How to Bake a Vegan Christmas Cake

Being vegan or dairy-free doesn't mean missing out on a rich, fruity Christmas cake. Even if you don't follow a dairy-free diet, this moist and delicious cake is worth trying. You'll need 24 hours to soak the fruit, and the cake is best if made ahead at least a week or more prior to eating it.


  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) dairy-free margarine or olive oil (use light olive oil with a very mild flavor)
  • 1/2 cup glace cherries
  • 1/4 cup dates, chopped roughly
  • 3 cups mixed dried fruit of choice (the cake pictured used raisins, dried cranberries (craisins), dried apricots, sultanas)
  • 1/2 cup orange flavored alcohol, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier. If you're straight edge vegan, use orange juice or similar juice or concentrate
  • 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (8 oz) water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Egg replacer equivalent for 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour (all purpose flour, whole wheat is fine or combine half and half with unbleached white flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 1/4 cup mixed organic orange and lemon zest


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    Place the dried fruit ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Chop up large dried fruit such as the dried apricots and dates.
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    Pour in the alcohol (or juice). If it seems to need more, be generous, as the fruit will soak it all up. Set aside and soak for 24 hours. Stir now and then to ensure all the fruit is covered. Top up liquid if you think it needs it.
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    Put the margarine or olive oil, sugar, water, baking soda, and soaked fruit into a large saucepan.
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    Bring to the boil for about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir now and then.
    • Remove from the heat and put aside to cool a little. Once it has cooled a bit, stir in the prepared egg replacer. It should dissolve quickly through the warm mixture.
  5. 5
    Preheat the oven to 280°F (140°C). Line the baking pan with parchment or baking paper.
  6. 6
    Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Sift in the flour and add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix together.
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    Fold in the fruit mixture bit by bit. Gradually mix through. Add the peel or zest at this stage and continue mixing.
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    Spoon the smooth mixture into the baking pan. It can be easier to do this using a smaller dessert or soup spoon. Smooth into the corners as you add the mixture and layer it all in neatly. Smooth over the top of the cake.
    • If decorating with nuts or glace cherries, do at this stage.
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    Place the cake in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Then turn down the heat to 250°F (120ºC) and bake for another 30 to 60 minutes. Keep checking the cake. It is ready to remove when knife or skewer inserted into the center pulls out clean.
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    Place the cake a wire rack to cool. While still hot, you can pour 1 tablespoon of brandy or orange liqueur over it (optional). Leave in the baking pan while it cools.
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    When completely cool, store. Wrap in plastic food wrap or foil. Place into an airtight cake container with a lid. Store in a cool, dark place. Keep in the container in between servings.
    • If desired, you can pour a tablespoon or two of the same alcohol over the cake every two weeks during storage to keep it moist.


  • If the cake starts to brown too soon, place aluminium foil over it to cool it down.

Things You'll Need

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Mixing implement
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Flour sifter
  • Square or round baking/cake pan 20 centimeter (7.9 in) x 20 centimeter (7.9 in); use as high a quality one as you can find
  • Baking paper
  • Smaller spoon for placing mixture into pan and smoothing top
  • Oven mitts
  • Wire cooling rack

Sources and Citations

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