Tropical Vegan Christmas Cake
This cake is often a hit with people who don’t usually like Christmas cake, and is loved by anyone I’ve offered it to. It brings a bit of sunshine to the winter months with the inclusion of dried pineapple, apricot and crystallised ginger, which make it a very flavoursome and tangy cake.
This cake makes a deep cake in a 9 inch pan
For the cake:
- 125ml Cointreau or orange juice if you don’t want to use alcohol
- 250g Tropical Wholefoods dried pineapple – roughly chopped
- 100g Tropical Wholefoods dried apricots – roughly chopped
- 100g glace cherries, halved
- 60g Tropical Wholefoods dried mango – roughly chopped
- 50g crystallised ginger – roughly chopped
- Dairy free sunflower/soya spread, to grease
- 200g Dairy free sunflower/soya spread
- 215g coconut palm sugar
- 3 egg replacer eggs
- finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 190g plain flour
- 150g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp bicarbonate Soda
- 250ml coconut milk
- 200g soya yoghurt – plain
For the icing:
- Marzipan to cover
- Royal Icing
- Mix the Cointreau/Orange Juice, pineapple, apricot, cherries, mango and ginger in a large bowl. Leave to soak for an hour.
- Next step is to make the decoration.
- Preheat oven to 180. Place the pineapple on a lined tray and sprinkle on some sugar. Cook for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and remove from tray. Manipulate the dried pineapple in to a flower shape and leave to cool further.
- Turn oven down to 160. Use a 9 inch round (at least 3 inches deep) cake tin and grease with the melted dairy-free spread. Use baking paper to line.
- Beat the dairy-free spread and coconut sugar together until well mixed. Continue to beat well and add the egg-replacer gradually. Add to the mix the soya yoghurt and vanilla. The next step is to mix in the dry ingredients, but first you’ll need to transfer this mix in to a larger bowl.
- In a separate bowl mix both the flours, mixed spice, lemon rind and bicarbonate soda. This will now be added to the liquid mix. Take it in turns to fold in the flour mix and coconut milk alternatively. Now add the fruit mix which has been soaking and incorporate evenly. Bakers tip – A metal spoon makes for a cleaner fold!
- Turn the mix out in to the prepared cake tin. Make sure the surface is once and flat. Bake in the oven for 2 hours and 20 minutes, and check with a skewer. Cover and let cool in pan overnight.
- The next day, cover your cake in marzipan. Firstly, use apricot jam and spread thinly over the top of the cake. This provides a glaze and helps stick the marzipan to the cake. Use the rolling pin to roll out enough marzipan to cover the top of the cake only. A lightly dusted surface with icing sugar helps prevent sticking. Once happy use the rollin pin to pick up the marzipan (by rolling the marzipan around the pin) and place on top of the cake. Trim the edges. Roll out some strips of marzipan to cover the sides of the cake, cutting one straight edge which will be placed on the bottom edge of the cake. Apply this to the sides of the cake and cut off the rough top edge of the marzipan level with the top of the cake using a sharp knife. Give the top and sides a final smooth. Leave the cake like this for 1-2 days to enable the marzipan to dry out. This prevents the nut oils in the marzipan from discolouring the fondant icing. Ideally the air needs to get to it.
- Traditionally cakes are covered in royal icing, which isn’t vegan, so we opted for fondant instead. This time roll out enough icing to cover the whole cake including the sides. Lift again using the rolling pin and place on top of the cake. Work the icing around the edges and smooth with a smoothing tool to get a clean finish. Decorate as desired!