Whatever your opinion is, it’s not Christmas without the classic traditional fruitcake! However you like your Christmas cake, this is The Best Gluten-Free Vegan Fruitcake to try! This easy recipe is allergy-free (no nuts!), refined sugar-free with natural dried fruit, alcohol-free, kid-friendly, and perfect for gifting or dessert!
I know what you’re thinking. “Ew, fruitcake!” But I bet you only think that due to the negative stereotypes the media have made you believe about fruitcakes. I’m also going to take a chance and say you’ve never even had a slice of fruitcake. So no judging by a cake by it’s name or perceived notions. Let me show you just how delicious, fruit, sweet, and allergy-free this classic Christmas cake can be!
The History, “The Legend”, of Fruitcake
Word on the street is fruitcakes last FOREVER; with a caveat, but we’ll get to that in a minute. A fruitcake can also go by the name “Christmas Cake”, and it’s one of those traditional recipes for celebrations and holidays where every country/nationality has their own twist and variation (i.e. like the latke). Fruitcake originated during Roman times and the recipe included pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, raisins, and barley. This fruity bread trend expanded throughout Europe and during the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruits began to be used. Things only got super sugary when, during the colonial times, American colonies began “the sugar rush” and used sugar as a way to preserve dried fruit longer. Currently, at least here in America, a commercial fruitcake is typically with candied (artificial) fruits (those green and red cherries or pineapple, maybe raisins), nuts (walnuts or pecans), spices (including candied ginger), and sugar. If your great grandmother have that secret recipe for a traditional fruitcake from scratch, that’s when you may find that the fruits ad nuts are soaked in alcohol like rum, brandy, liqueurs, bourbon, etc. If the cake has a HIGH alcohol content, that’s when a fruitcake can stand the test of time (as alcohol is a preservative and prevents mold). You may even find fruitcakes covered in powdered sugar to hide any aged imperfections. (source)
What’s in a gluten-free vegan fruitcake?
As you can imagine, you won’t find candied “fruit”, nuts, or alcohol, in this up-leveled and allergy-free fruit cake! The typical candied or sweetened dried fruit is swapped with natural dried fruits, including cherries, raisins, cranberries, dates, and apricots. You can use any dried fruits your heart desires (figs would be great as well!). Any nuts were removed entirely to keep this fruitcake recipe tree nut-free and peanut-free. There is no alcohol either, but there is some rum baking extract! Apple juice is used for the liquid, you can also use cranberry juice or orange juice! The cake is kept nice and moist with applesauce. It’s spiced with ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. This gluten-free fruitcake is made with sorghum flour and a gluten-free all purpose. A secret ingredient includes a tablespoon of cocoa powder! To make sure things are sweet enough, but still naturally sweet with no refined sugar, some “brown sugar-style” erythritol is used.
What shape do you bake a fruitcake in?
That is totally up to you! From loaf pans, bundt pans, fluted tube cake pans, a typical round or square cake pan, you could even do fruitcake mini bundts or cupcakes! Depending on the pan you use, bake time will vary. I used a small bundt pan, but this recipe can be used for an 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pan (which is the common fruitcake shape you’ll find here in America).
How do you store a fruitcake while keeping it moist?
Since there is no alcohol in this gluten-free vegan kid-friendly fruitcake, the apple juice and the applesauce do the job of keeping things moist an palatable. To store the fruitcake, keeping it in an airtight container like any baked good is fine and for extended shelf-life, pop it in the fridge and the cake will still be good for a week or two!
Why is fruitcake a Christmas joke?
Well, the poor ‘ole fruitcake has gotten such a bad rep over the years. Part of that is due to the running joke that there is only ONE fruitcake in the world and it just keeps getting passed around and re-gifted year after year to different recipients. I mean, there is a 106-year old (now 107) fruitcake that’s allegedly still edible! Jonny Carson, in a 1985 December episode of The Tonight Show, is also credited with saying, “The worst Christmas gift is fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.” And well, maybe he’s right? But I’m here to tell you that fruitcake is going to become your new favorite Christmas (holiday) baking tradition. Gluten-free, vegan, allergy-free, all natural, and super tasty; if you’ve never tried a slice of fruitcake, THIS is the fruitcake to try!
The Best Gluten-Free Vegan Fruitcake
- 2 Cups Sorghum Flour
- 1 Cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Prepared Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacement
- 1½ Cups Chopped Unsweetened Natural Dried Fruits*
- ¾ Cup Brown Sugar Style Erythritol (or preferred brown sugar)
- 1 TB Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- ½ Tsp Rum Extract (optional)
- ½ Tsp Orange Extract (optional)
- ½ Tsp Ground Ginger
- ½ Tsp Cinnamon
- ½ Tsp Ground Allspice
- ½ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1½ Cup Unsweetened 100% Apple Juice
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- Simply Glaze:
- ½ Cup Powdered Erythritol (or preferred powdered sugar)
- 1 TB Water (amount depends on the thickness you'd like)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and baking powder and whisk together.
- Now add all the other ingredients and mix well to combine to form the cake batter.
- Grease a small bundt pan, loaf pan, of cake pan of choice and pour in the batter.**
- Bake the fruitcake for about 30 minutes, 35 minutes if using a loaf pan.
- Remove and allow the fake to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Mix together the powdered erythritol and water for a simple glaze to drizzle on the cake before serving.
Did I change your mind about the fruitcake? Think you’ll give it a try this year? You won’t be disappointed, I promise. Better yet, everyone will WANT to have this fruitcake as a gift! They’ll be begging for a slice of the iconic Christmas cake! I think we can call this THE BEST Gluten-Free Vegan Fruitcake around! Upscale, fancy, healthier, allergy-free, and won’t last forever (because you’ll be eating it so quick!)
So tell me:
+ Have you ever had a fruitcake?
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