Gluten-Free Fruit Cake

Traditional Christmas fruit cake?

Loaded with sugar, butter, and brandy — what a workout!

But guess what? You can whip up a gluten-free, no added sugar, no-alcohol, and no-fat version that's still sweet, moist, dense, and oh-so-delicious.

Just three main ingredients, less than an hour to prep.

Ready for guilt-free indulgence this holiday?

The Recipe:


Dried fruits (see notes):​

  • 200g apricots

  • 200g dates

  • 200g prunes

  • 200g golden raisins

  • 200g walnuts

Other ingredients:

  • 350g gluten-free flour mix

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom

  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 550g kefir or 2 cups buttermilk


  1. Chop dried fruits and walnuts and soak in boiling water for 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C). Line the bottom of a 23cm springform cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.

  3. Drain hot water from dried fruits and walnuts and add them to a large mixing bowl. Stir in kefir or buttermilk.

  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour with spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.

  5. Using a large spatula or wooden spoon, fold the dry mixture into wet ingredients. Don’t overmix. Pour into the cake pan and flatten.

  6. Bake for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours or until the center is firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Keep an eye on the cake, and cover the top with aluminum if it’s browning too fast.

  7. Once done, let cool completely in the cake pan before removing. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Optional: Glaze the top of the cake with melted honey or apricot marmalade strained through a sieve. I also topped it with shredded coconut.

Chefs Notes:

This gluten-free fruit cake is easily vegan! To make vegan buttermilk, mix 2 cups of soy/almond milk with 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then mix into the soaked fruits.

To speed up the process, use packaged Christmas mixed dried fruits. You can even find fruits infused with brandy for a more authentic flavor. If you prefer natural dried fruits, don’t be afraid to mix them up—try figs, cranberries, sultanas, or almond shavings.

If you have mixed spice or pumpkin spice at home, you can use 2 to 3 teaspoons instead of measuring each ground spice separately.

I find this cake delightful, but if you want to make it sweeter, use freshly squeezed orange juice instead of kefir or buttermilk. Prune juice or peach nectar would also do the trick.

Get creative with the decorations! Brush the top with warm marmalade, and arrange fresh fruit slices like orange, apple, persimmon, and berries. Then, brush some more marmalade to make them glisten. For a quick solution, dust it with confectioner’s sugar. Or top it with your favorite frosting.

The sky’s the limit!