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Home » Baking, Recipes, Vegan

Vegan Christmas Cake Recipe

Submitted by on October 29, 2010 – 3:55 pm64 Comments

After we published our Auntie Vi’s Christmas Cake recipe on this site, we were asked if we could include a vegan version also. This recipe is a family fruit cake recipe that we’ve adapted to make suitable for vegan’s. It should make a suitable vegan alternative to Christmas cake. It’s a tried and tested recipe, handed down from Suma member Wendy Abbott’s mum. It’s a family favourite, and has been made many times over by different members of her family. It includes brandy which is optional, as some people prefer their cake without it. Once baked you can decorate it as you like, go traditional and use marzipan and icing sugar, try something totally different or leave it plain. The flavour of the fruit is enough for it to be utterly delicious on it’s own.


12oz / 340g plain flour
6oz / 170g soft brown sugar
6oz / 170g currants
6oz / 170g sultanas
5oz / 140g raisins
2oz / 55g glace cherries – chopped
1oz / 25g mixed peel – chopped
1/2 pint / 280ml soya milk (or you can use oat milk, rice milk, or coconut milk)
2 1/2oz / 70g soya or sunflower dairy free spread
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
pinch of salt
6 tbsp / 90ml brandy (optional)


Sift flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice in to a large mixing bowl, then rub in the dairy free spread. Stir in the sugar, currants, sultanas, raisins, peel and cherries. Add the lemon rind and give it a good stir. Add all but 2tbsp of the soya milk and stir lightly. Heat the remaining soya milk in a pan or microwave so it is warm but not boiling, you should be able to touch it without burning your finger. Pour on to the bicarb and then stir it thoroughly into the mixture, without actually beating.
Put into a lined 73/4 inch diameter tin, smooth and slightly hollow out centre.
Bake at about gas mark 4 for an hour, then turn down to gas mark 3 for a further 45 minutes. It’s done when a normal skewer comes out clean.

If you are going to use the brandy:

Leave the cake to cool and then prick with a cocktail stick and feed with a third of the brandy. Wrap the cake in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight container or tin. You can pour the rest of the brandy over the cake at weekly intervals. It will keep for 3-4 weeks, but not as long as a traditional fruitcake.

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  • Clare says:


    I’ve used this recipe before to make my sons birthday cake (as he has an egg allergy). However I intend to double the recipe this time, as he wants a particular themed cake. How long would you suggest I cook it for? Thank you for your help.

  • […] but I instead found something relatively easy. And after feeding it for 4 weeks with brandy, the Christmas cake makes anyone who samples it a little […]

  • Lisa Vallance says:

    Hi I have just made this cake I wanted to make it early as I’m feeding it with alcohol it says it only last 4-6 weeks is this true why does it not last any longer than this, please can you help me
    Thanks lisa

  • admin says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I’ve just asked Wendy who provided the recipe and she says that it’s a traditional fruit cake recipe that she made vegan, as the original recipe didn’t have any eggs in it. It doesn’t have the same volume of fruit as a traditional Christmas cake, or any alcohol. Apparently it’s the combination of fruit and alcohol that normally makes a traditional christmas cake last a long time. Because dried fruit has a low water content, if cake contains a lot of fruit, it helps it last. As you have added the alcohol, it may extend the amount of time it lasts? Perhaps you can remember to let us know how long your cake lasts for, and we can update the information on this page? Hope it is yummy!

  • Caroline says:


    I don’t eat eggs but do use dairy and haven’t found a recipe like that so can I just replace the soya milk and butter with cow’s milk and butter in the same quantities?

    Many thanks

  • admin says:

    Yes, that would work perfectly!

  • Helen says:


    Thank you for sharing your recipie. I have to make a dairy free cake for a friend and thus recipie has helped tremendously.


  • Madonna says:

    I made this cake for the families of some children in my kindergarten class and, as I also have to cater for gluten-free needs, I used gluten free flour (a little less) and and a little almond meal.

    I also used coconut milk rather than soy, and replaced dairy-free spread with coconut oil. Rather than tempting fate with one large cake, I baked 3 small long cakes, in 5cm x 20cm tins. Cooking time was reduced to about 3/5 of given time. Worked a treat!

  • Janice says:

    Hi, I made this cake 5 weeks ago, I have fed it brandy weekly. I came to decorate it today and it had mould growing on the top and sides. I made a tiny muffin sized one out of the mixture to taste before decorating as the large cake was to be a gift and I hadn’t used a vegan Christmas cake recipe before. This had only had brandy fed to it twice and it was completely mouldy. So I would say 3-4 weeks max? I’m now making a new one tomorrow which won’t have time to mature!! Hope this is helpful Lisa

  • admin says:

    Hi Janice,
    Sorry to hear that your cake went mouldy, what a dissapointment! That’s happened to me before as well (not this recipe), only I didn’t find out until my dad had taken a bite! Thanks for letting us know, I will update this recipe so it’s clear to people in the future.
    All the best,
    Amy – Suma Web Team

  • Nick says:

    I made this, my first foray into Christmas bakery, on the traditional “Stir up Sunday” but soaked the fruit in Brandy for 24hrs beforehand. There is one slice left after nearly a month. I found the cake to be a little on the dry side after all this time but that’s a small price to pay for such a really good recipe. (It can easily be remedied by adding a bit more milk or brandy too). Thoroughly impressed, thankyou.

  • Lynn says:

    I always bake my Christmas cake during the Autumn half term break from school. Last year I baked it earlier as we had a new kitchen fitted during half term. This was my first ever vegan cake and I was a little worried that the recommended keeping time was quite short. However, I fed it with brandy regularly and it kept beautifully. In fact it was so delicious that I am about to make another for a St George’s day event at our church. Many thanks for such a scrumptious recipe!

  • Lia says:

    I’m going to make this cake as an alternative for vegans at my son’s wedding. I would be obliged if someone could advise which is the best milk to use? I’ve never used any of these milks except for coconut milk and I only use that in curries. Also is Dr Oekter marzipan suitable for vegans? The ingredients of the marzipan are sugar, almonds, glucose syrup, invert sugar syrup and water. If so, I intend to cover and decorate the cake with this marzipan. Would there be any problems if I add ground walnut and pecans into this recipe? Problems such as the milk reacting to the nuts. I know how to add other ingredients to a recipe, I’m just not sure how these milks are when used for baking. I would really appreciate if you could advise if rapeseed oil is suitable for vegans as I intend to use it in something else.Thank you in advance for any replies.

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