Gluten Free Fruit Cake
The perfect fruit cake for Christmas, but also lovely for birthdays and special occasions.
The longevity of the cake shelf life is due to the natural preserving properties of the Cassava flour, combined with the small amount of alcohol which also helps preserve the cake.
The advice goes that you should make your cake at least three weeks ahead of Christmas, but if you don’t want to use alcohol, you can use the same quantity of orange or apple juice, but please note that the alcohol has a contributor factor in helping to preserve the cake.
For decorating, if you don’t like icing, you could brush warmed apricot jam over the cake, then arrange glace fruits and nuts on top.
Apart for the long shelf life of this cake, what make it more special to me is the quality of the cake, if you love making fruit cakes this flour will not let you down. No one will ever guess that it is gluten free.
Baking Time: 41/2 - 5 hours
Prep Time: 30 minutes
For the pre-soaking:
- 450g Dried Mixed Fruit
- 110g Sultanas
- 50g Candied peel
- 100g Prunes
- 100g Glace cherries
- 100g Apricots
- 1 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 rounded teaspoon mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon molasses sugar
- 1 Large lemon, zest & juice
- 1 Large Orange, zest & juice
- 50g Ground Almonds (Optional)
- 275ml (10 fl oz) Brandy or whiskey
For the cake:
- 250g Isabel’s all-purpose Cassava Flour
- 250g Demerara sugar
- 250g Butter or dairy free substitute
- 6 large free range eggs – at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp Black treacle
- 1 Tbsp Baking powder
- 100 – 200ml Almond or cows milk
- Start by measuring out the whiskey or brandy into a large saucepan and add 3 tablespoons water. Add the mixed fruit, sultanas and candied mixed peel.
- Roughly chop the prunes, glace cherries and apricots and add to the saucepan. Add the cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg along with the vanilla extract.
- Then add to the saucepan both the zest and juice of the orange and lemon.
- Stir well and put the saucepan on the heat slowly bringing the mixture up to simmering point. Keep the heat very low and simmer gently without a lid for 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Turn off the heat and allow everything to cool completely. When it is completely cool add to a large jar with a sealable lid. We use a large mason jar. The mixture should then be put into the fridge to mature for approximately two weeks, if possible, but if not infuse for at least 2 days.
- Pre-heat the oven to 140ºC. You’ll need an 8 inch round loose bottomed cake tin which has firstly been greased and lined with a double layer of greasproof paper.
You then need to protect the outside of the tin. Take a double layer of brown paper and wrap this around the outside of the tin. Use a piece of string to secure the brown paper.
- Remove the fruit in the jar from the fridge.
Now measure out the flour, sugar, butter and baking powder into a very large mixing bowl.
Then add the eggs and black treacle and whisk or beat until everything is evenly distributed. At this point you can add the milk – firstly add 100ml and beat – the mixture should drop off a spoon slowly. If the mixture is too thick you can add some more of the milk to reach the desired consistency.
- prepared tin and level the surface as evenly as you can.
Try to get the level correct as the cake will rise unevenly if the level is not even. Cover the cake with a double layer of greaseproof paper with a hole cut into the centre approximately the size of a 50 p piece. This will protect the top of the cake from burning.
- Bake in the oven on the lowest shelf for 4 ½ to 4 ¾ hour . This cake can sometimes take up to ½ to ¾ hour longer than this, but don’t look at the cake or open the door until at least 4 hours have passed. Check the cake is slightly springy on top but do not leave in too long.
- The cake will keep well if wrapped in fresh baking parchment and then wrapped in baking foil for 24 months or more.