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Moist with fruity flavours and a hint of spices, this Vegan Christmas Cake is a perfect dessert for the upcoming holiday. It’s so delicious and moreish that you can’t tell it’s also healthier, made with less sugar and less oil (compared with common recipes).
Story behind this Vegan Christmas Cake
So, here is the line that I feel I said quite often: I had been thinking about making a Christmas cake for ages. But somehow life just didn’t give me the time/energy for the past few years, until NOW.
The reason for this procrastination also includes me being a rebellion who doesn’t want to make the cake that every one is making. So, here is a special Christmas cake that is one of a kind!
Why we will love this cake
This Vegan Christmas Cake is amazing!
- Moist, with hints of spices
- Perfectly sweet, from coconut sugar and fruits
- Super delicious with a layer of vanilla cashew cream on top (and can have extra on the side)
- A cozy, satisfying dessert for Christmas!
- Vegan, no eggs, no dairy, no animal products
- Made with spelt flour, an ancient wheat variety that got more fibre than regular wheat
- Reduced sugar and fat content, less burden for the body
Here are the Ingredients we need:
- White spelt flour: Here I use white spelt flour to give this cake a light yet moreish texture.
- Baking powder: for the extra softness.
- Salt & vanilla extract: just a hint of both to give this cake more flavours.
- Spices: ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice: This is a cake for Christmas, so I think we all know it’s time for the spices!
- Unsweetened applesauce: I use some applesauce in this recipe to reduce the amount of vegan butter while to keep this cake moist and delicious.
- Fresh orange & lemon: we’re going to use the zest of both and fresh juice from the orange.
- Coconut sugar: I adore the caramel taste of coconut sugar very much.
- Vegan spread (or vegan butter): a hint of buttery taste.
- Unsweetened soy milk: the agent to bring everything together.
- Sultana & hazelnuts: for more texture and flavours.
- Optional: mixed peel. You can add some mixed peel to this cake for extra texture and sweetness. I list it as optional because I know it’s not common in every country.
I also make a vanilla cream frosting to go with this lovely cake. For the cream frosting, you will need:
- Raw cashews: the main body of this cream frosting. We will have to soak them in water for at least 4 hours.
- Apple cider vinegar: it will add a hint of tangy flavour to this amazing cream frosting.
- Unsweetened soy milk: to combine everything also add more creaminess!
- Maple syrup: I love the maple syrup taste to sweeten this vanilla cream. You can use other liquid sweetener like agave syrup if you want.
- Pure vanilla extra: Yes, we need that for our vanilla cream. Make sure to use a good quality one.
How do I make this Christmas cake?
This cake is composed of two parts: the cake and cream frosting on top. Let me walk you through.
I would recommend making the cream first if you know you will finish and enjoy the cake on the day. This way, the cream can have enough time to set up a bit more.
And it’s super simple to make the cream. You just need to:
- Soak the cashews in advance (4–6 hours).
- Blend them with other ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Store it in the fridge while we make the cake.
For the cake, it’s also quite straight forward:
- Just mix the flour, baking powder, spices, sugar, lemon and orange zest in a big bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Then combine all together. Finally, stir in hazelnuts and sultanas (and mixed peel if using).
- Bake in the preheated oven at 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F / gas mark 4 for 25–28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Then transfer the cake onto a wire rack to cool down before removing it from the tin.
- Spread the cream frosting on top. Decorate it however you want, or leave it plain. Slice and enjoy!
How Should I Store This Cake
This cake is best served on the day made. But if you have leftover or want to make it ahead of time. I’d recommend storing the cream frosting and the cake separately (in different containers) and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or 1 week in the freezer.
Before serving, let the cake come back to room temperature or reheat the cake slice in a microwave for 10–15 seconds, then add the cream on top.
Extra Tips for Success
- Weighing instead of using measuring cups. I generally recommend using a kitchen scale to achieve the most accurate amount of ingredients.
- Adjust the baking time/temperature as needed. Not every oven is wired the same way. So making adjustment on the baking time or temperature if you know your oven’s “habits” (high/low).
What else can I try?
Here are some other recipes that are perfect for the holiday season:
Vegan Christmas Cake
For the cake batter:
- 120 g white spelt flour, (1 cup)
- 50 g coconut sugar, (~5 Tbsp) or light brown sugar (1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1/2+ 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 45 g unsweetened applesauce, (3 Tbsp)
- 50 g vegan spread, melted, or vegan butter (1/4 cup)
- 120 g unsweetened soy milk, (1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 fresh orange
- 1 fresh lemon
- 75 g sultana, or mixed fruit (3/8 cup)
- 20 g chopped hazelnuts, optional (2 Tbsp)
- 75 g mixed peel, optional (1 cup)
For the cashew cream frosting:
- 100 g raw cashews, (2/3 cup) soaked in water for 4-6 hours
- 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 45 g soy milk, (3 Tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/16 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Make cashew cream frosting first if you have time:
- Drain out the water from soaked cashews. Gently rinse it with clean drinking water.
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed.
- Cover and let it sit in the fridge to set up a bit while we make the cake.
Make Christmas cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F / gas mark 4. Line the bottom of a 6-inch cake tin with parchment paper/baking paper.
- Add spelt flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice) to a big mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix all together evenly.
- In another bowl, add applesapce, vegan spread, soya milk, vanilla extract, orange zest, and lemon zest. Whisk to combine.
- Use a grater to zest the lemon and oragne. Then cut the orange open and squeeze about ¼ of the orange to get 1 tablespoon of orange juice. Stir in the juice to the wet mixture to combine.
- Poure the wet mixture to the dry one. Use a whisk to incorporate all.
- Add sultana, chopped hazelnuts, and mixed peel (if you prepared). Use a silicone spatula to stir them into the cake batter evenly.
- Add sultana, chopped hazelnuts, and mixed peel (if using) to the cake mixture. Stir to incorporate them evenly.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Gently drop it against the table top to even out the batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 25–28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Transfer the cake tin onto a wire rack to cool down completely. Then remove the cake from the tin and peel out the parchment paper/baking paper at the bottom of the cake.
- Place the cake on a plate or a cake stand. Take out the cream frosting from the fridge and spread it out on the top of the cake. Then dive in! Optionally, you can add some ground cinnamon or peels on top for decoration.
- Storage & serving : This cake is best served on the day made. But if you have leftover or want to make it ahead of time. I’d recommend storing the cream frosting and the cake separately (in different containers) and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or 1 week in the freezer. Before serving, let the cake come back to room temperature or reheat the cake slice in a microwave for 10–15 seconds, then add the cream on top.