What does the Christmas feeling mean to you? To me It’s everything. It starts in autumn. The change in the weather, the first crisp autumnal mornings, digging out hoodies and coats, dark evenings, lighting the fire, sipping on mulled wine and getting cosy.
Then in November, the anticipation of bonfire night celebrations and being around your family. And then it’s December. The Christmas lights, the music, the decorated houses you see on your way home, the Christmas scented candles and fragrances, the decorated shops, seeing people out shopping rushing home with their treasures. Not to mention all of the Christmas baking which is by far my favourite part.
It’s everything the season brings.
With all this festivity in mind, I have been working on a super healthy Christmas cake for you and have finally perfected a cake based on the traditional recipe, however this one is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. It also contains an abundance of antioxidant rich foods including cranberries, chia seeds, coconut oil and green tea.
So if you are looking to start off some healthy Christmas baking, look no further!
This cake can be made in advance and keeps very well for a few weeks in an airtight container, it can equally be made the day before if you are pushed for time. However you wont be able to feed the cake with my delicious concoction over the weeks, but the cake is still wonderfully moist without this.
It is the perfect cake for anyone who is sensitive to gluten or intolerant to dairy but wants to be able to indulge in the classic Christmas cake. The addition of green tea gives not only a hit of antioxidants but it is great for speeding up the metabolism and fat burning (If you don’t like green tea, fear not because you can’t taste it!) The chia seeds contain wonderful healthy omega 3 fatty acids and the coconut oil – well you probably already know the benefits of coconut oil if you have been reading my blog, but if not you can read my post on why coconut oil is so very wonderful here.
250g mixed dried fruit
125g dried cranberries
100ml freshly brewed green tea
1 tablespoon of whiskey (optional)
Zest of 1 lemon & 1 orange
110g organic virgin coconut oil
110g coconut sugar
2 medium organic eggs
110g self raising gluten free flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon almond milk
How to make
First start by soaking the dried fruits in the green tea and whiskey (if using) overnight if you have time. However if you are short of time which I was when I made this once then you can put the fruit and tea in to an ovenproof dish and bake for 20 minutes at 170 degrees (fan assisted oven) so that the fruit swells and soaks up most of the liquid.
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees in a fan assisted oven. Line a bottomless round tin (9 inches) with baking paper.
To make the cake batter, cream together the coconut oil and coconut sugar, add in the 2 eggs and beat until creamy.
Next fold in the flour, spices, almond milk, chia seeds and zest. Once combined stir in the fruit mixture and then pour in to the prepared tin.
Bake in the oven for the first hour at 170 degrees and for the remaining 45 minutes at 160 degrees. Some ovens may vary so keep an eye on your cake after 1.5 hours and if it looks too dark on the top take it out and check it is cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake and making sure it comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool, once cool make holes in the cake with a skewer so that you can feed the cake with the below concoction…
1 tablespoon of Meridian blood orange spread
1 tablespoon whiskey
1 tablespoon hot green tea
Mix these ingredients together until everything is dissolved. Spoon a few spoons of this over the top of the cake. Leave in the tin for a few hours to let everything settle. You can then remove the cake from the tin on to a cake stand or into a tin. If you are making this cake in advance you can continue to feed it a small amount of cake food each week to keep it lovely and moist.
Decorate your cake with whatever you fancy, I like to keep mine simple so I shake over some Natvia icing sugar – it is actually sugar free and you can buy it here –
Then I like to scatter over fresh pomegranate, one because it looks like lovely festive jewels and two because it adds a lovely burst of freshness to the cake.
I hope you enjoy both making and eating this cake, and as always I would love to hear from you all on how yours turned out.
May your day be filled with festive cheer and lots of cake.