Plastic Challenge 2017
July 19, 2017 – 11:17 am | 4 Comments

What is the challenge?
June 2017 was officially the Marine Conservation Society’s  ‘Plastic Challenge’ month.
This is the third year of the challenge, which encourages people to pledge to cut down the amount of single-use plastics they …

Read the full story »

The Suma range of food and household products. Our products are sourced ethically, with the environment in mind.


Delicious vegetarian recipes created in our very own Suma canteen. Healthy meals, and a healthy amount of cakes too.


Environmental issues, sustainable business practices, climate change, recycling, green living and more.


New developments and activities at Suma, press releases, and updates we think you’ll be interested in.


Suma is the uk’s largest workers’ cooperative. We operate equal pay and are democratically run by our members.

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • […] If you are looking for a vegan version, have a look at our Vegan Christmas Cake recipe, also on this site. […]

  • lottie says:

    The recipe lists margarine amongst the ingredients but nowhere in the method does margarine get added. Where does it come in? Sounds more like a fruit bread without fat in it. It would be more traditional too and result in a longer life for the cake to overnight soak the fruit in brandy as well as add some by pricking the top every couple of weeks before eating.

  • admin says:

    Well spotted Lottie! I have now updated the recipe, I must have missed this when typing it out.

    Originally the recipe was for a family fruit cake, so it doesn’t use as much fruit as a traditional Christmas cake, but we think it makes a great vegan alternative to Christmas cake.

    Thanks for the tip on soaking the fruit, sounds like a good idea.

    Amy @ Suma

  • Bracken says:

    Brilliant! Just what I was looking for! A VEGAN Christmas cake. I thought I would have to guess and veganise a normal recipe but this is just brilliant since it will probably work and I have had a few disasters over the years with trying to make Christmas cakes. The fact it will keep for so long is also a real plus since most vegan cakes do not.I shall buy what I do not have and make this tomorrow.
    Thank you!

  • Elspeth says:

    What’s optional about brandy???

    It looks just the thing. I am sure all vegans will enjoy it.

  • carrie says:

    This is simply wonderful, I soaked the fruit in a good amount of brandy before baking, I left the fruit over night, then made the cake the following day, it has rested for about 10 days to let the flavours develop and mellow and it is one of the best Christmas cakes I have made, I am not vegan but allergic to eggs which developed in the last year so it is my first attempt at a vegan fruit cake, now I just need to make vegan marzipan and I am good. I made a cake early to try it before I made it for the whole family for Christmas and my fears are unfounded, thank you for a simply wonderful egg free alternative to one of my favourite treats

  • admin says:

    Really glad it worked out for you Carrie, and nice to hear your comments. Hope you have a great Christmas 🙂

  • Kerry Gee says:

    On the margarine front, it states 2 and a half ounces/125g. But 2 1/2 oz is not 125g. Which measurement is correct? Help! I’m in the middle of making the cake!!

  • admin says:

    Sorry for the late reply, we’ve been away enjoying the Christmas break, so I hope your cake turned out ok!

    I would stick to the ounce measurement, this is what the recipe was written in and I converted it to grams. I must have made an error in my calculations somewhere. I have now corrected the recipe to 2 1/2 ounces, 70g, which should be more accurate.

    Thanks for bringing to our attention Kerry 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    If you don’t want to use alcohol it tastes stunning with Sainsburys exotic fruit cocktail juice.

    My students loved the cake with this variation

  • fitzy says:

    This is absolutely brilliant, i made it last year and it was really fantastic x thankyou for my default go to christmas recipe x

  • Dee Weaver says:

    Nom Nom!
    This is dangerously good. We’re not fans of dark Xmas cakes in this house, so I replaced the currants and raisins with a mixture of crystallised ginger, pineapple and papaya, and replaced the cherries with dried cranberries.
    It’s absolutely scrummy – cheers, guys!

  • barbara says:

    hi thanks os much for this recipe. I made it two weeks before I Christmas day and substituted the brandy with some tropical fruit juice. I didn`t put raisin in because I don`t like them but the result was absolutely DELICIOUS!!! It all went on Christmas day. I was over the moon with the texture, taste and everything. I actually marzipanned and iced it!!! I was very proud of myself. Ist Chritmas cake I have EVER made. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

  • chloe hallam says:

    Hi there,
    I have been looking for this but I also need to leave out any fat. Can it work with just the bicarb and flour (plus perhaps banana?)

  • Emma R says:

    Hi Chloe,
    I can’t give you a difinitive answer on that, but having asked some vegan bakers at Suma I got this response from Alex:

    I recommend trying…

    -Apple sauce as a replacement to oil or marg
    -Prune puree to replace oil (an example I found for this was: 6 oz prunes, 1 cup water, 2 tsp vanilla pureed in blender)
    -Pureed Tofu (silken is usually good)

    My favorite method however is using ground flax seed or ground linseed: you have to put in one or two heaping tablespoons of the ground flax seed, and cover it with water.. then heat gently until it thickens (stir throughout).. (this works not only as good oil or marg substitute for vegan baking but an excellent egg replacer!!) And it gives added nutritional benefits! I’ve not tried it in a Christmas cake but I have made amazing muffins and cupcakes with this technique!

    Oh, and a bit of extra bicarb does seem to help with the raising aspect.

    I hope this response is helpful and good luck with your no-fat baking!

  • Amannda says:

    Hi, i`ve been asked to make an egg free Christmas cake for a colleague,this recipe looks fab !!Do i have to use soya milk or can normal milk be used ?

  • admin says:

    Hi Amanda, You can substitute normal milk no problem 🙂

  • admin says:

    Hi Amanda,
    Yes normal milk will work no problem 🙂

  • Bookwormy says:

    I always make my regular christmas cake about now and its perfect just in time Christmas – is there a reason that the vegan version only lasts 4-6 weeks? Ideally I’d like to make it sooner rather than later.

  • admin says:

    I’m not sure of the reason why it only lasts 3-4 weeks. You could always try and make it and let us know how it turns out? I’m sure if stored correctly it should last a lot longer 🙂

  • Juju says:

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe, great for a family of gluten intolerants, coeliac sufferers and one lactose and egg intolerant member, a real challenge to feed but such fun once you get it worked out! I have a great gluten free Christmas cake recipe if anyone is interested, but it does contain eggs and butter. 🙂

  • admin says:

    Although we haven’t tried, we are farily certain the cake woud freeze fine. Do try and let us know how it turns out.

  • admin says:

    Juju We would love to have a copy of your gluten free Christmas cake. We could publish it on our site if you were happy with that?

  • admin says:

    Hi Deepali,

    I would probably keep the temperature the same, as it is already fairly low, but turn it down to gas mark 3 after 45 mins, rather than an hour. I would then bake for a further 20 minutes and do the toothpick test to see if it is baked, and cook for 10 or 15 minutes longer if needed. Do let us know how you get on 🙂

  • Vegan Christmas Cake « The Common or Garden Vegan says:

    […] Christmas Cake must be given time to mature, so make it now! This recipe was developed from Suma’s vegan Christmas Cake recipe, with extra […]

  • Eggless Christmas Cake | Soak, Mingle, Age & Feed in Brandy | Merry Xmas « Confusion Cook says:

    […] Recipe Source – loosely adapted from Suma […]

  • Deepali Jain says:

    Hi, I baked this cake for 45 mins @ 160 C & then for 30 mins @ 150 C. reduced the qty by half & baked in a loaf pan. I also soaked the fruits in brandy for 10 days then fed the cake with brandy for 3 weeks. you can find the recipe with my changes here –

  • Natalie Wasling says:

    Hi, thanks so much for this recipe, this was my first Christmas cake, I made two and both came out really well. Do you have a recipe for a darker cake (I know some Christmas cakes contain dark muscovado and black treacle)? many thanks, Natalie

  • admin says:

    We don’t at the moment Natalie, but you could try experimenting and let us know?

  • admin says:

    Thanks for the update Deepali, glad it turned out well and thanks for the link!

  • Gina G says:

    Hi , I made this cake at Christmas for my daughter who is vegan as a surprise , she loved this cake as did all of her friends who claimed it was the best fruit cake they had ever tasted…. Thank you so much for the recipe which I am now using again for an Easter cake for her…. You don’t need to wait for an occasion to make this cake and you certainly don’t need to be vegan to eat it…. Thanks again

  • What is 4 in degrees oven setting.

  • admin says:

    Hi Dorothy
    Thanks for your interest in the recipe. Gas mark 4 is equivalent to 180°C (or 350°F) and gas mark 3 is 160°C (or 325°F). Please let us know how your Christmas cake turns out!

  • Nakita says:

    Hi, just wanted to say this recipe is great!! My fiance loves it he is vegan. I make it last year and the whole family ate it. They loved it too. I will be using this recipe every year. I’m even making one early because its that good :). Thankyou. Nakita xx

  • Trezzab says:

    Have just made this as a gift for my Indian friends who are strict vegans but love cake! It has turned out really well and I know they will love it.

  • Have just made this cake with gluten free flour so it is suitable foe veggies vegans and gluten free! I used Cointreau and marmalade to secure marzipan using the orange flavour superb ! Thanks

  • Syreeta says:

    Hello .. I plan to make this recipe with out the brandy … will it keep for 4 weeks with out brandy?

  • Danny says:

    Hi Syreeta, Its should be fine without the brandy, but you will have to wrap it in grease prof paper and then foil so it does not dry out and it should last till Christmas.

  • Ginger says:

    What can you substitute baking soda or powder with – they affect my stomach

  • m hollis says:

    My daughter is getting married in may his year …I like this recipe and wonder if anyone else has used this ….I have to cook a three tier cake …round.

    Any comments to help me would be appreciated.

  • paulo says:

    Hi As it says in the article, this cake is one of our member’s family favourites, and has been made many times over by different members of her family. we are sure it would make a wonderful wedding cake. And best wishes to your daughter and future husband!

  • Inbar Tamari says:

    Can you keep the cake without the brandy?

  • Inbar says:


    Just finished making it. Didn’t have vegan spread or soya milk so opted for using a can of high quality coconut milk (75% coconut). Mix taste lovely will see what it is like to eat la

  • Georgie Stuart says:

    can this be marzipanned and iced like a normal christmas cake?

  • paulo says:

    I’ve checked with our cake guru and yes it can. We have marzipan and icing sugar just right for the job

  • Debbie Havey says:

    Made this cake 3 weeks ago, I did add the brandy. Covered it with a thin layer of marzipan and icing (shop bought). Well, this has to be the best Christmas cake I have ever tasted. Moist and really tasty, I would recommend adding the brandy. It's so good. Printed off the recipe to use again next year.

  • Ronita Hicks says:

    Made this cake today. It looks and smells yummy. I soaked the fruit overnight in a good slug of brandy. I can't ice it as it's for a vegan but it looks good so doesn't need it. I will just stick some plastic holly on top. I also am keeping the recipe for the future.

  • Angus Fileman says:

    Why can't you ice it Ronita? There are plenty of vegan icing methods.

  • Christine Archer says:

    Cake in oven. Smells lovely. Soaked fruit in organic Orange juice overnight in fridge. Have used spelt flour. All organic ingredients. Omitted the cherries as couldn't find any. I have a glass jar of organic mixed peel left. I am going to marzipan and ice it tomorrow. 🙂

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.