The classic British fruitcake is a dense, heavy, cake, supersaturated with dried fruits and nuts. It has earned a poor reputation and become a standing joke of the holiday season, a white elephant that is regifted by countless Secret Santas. Wait till you try this raw vegan version! It’s juicy with apples and oranges, and none of that lurid Grinch-green cherries or candy-apple red pineapples. One bite of this raw fruitcake will fill your palate for several minutes. It captures the very essence of the holiday season. You will not want to pass on this fruitcake.
The Crumb of Raw Fruitcake
A mix of desiccated coconut and almond flour takes the place of regular flour. Do not use store-bought coconut flour which is defatted and highly absorbent; it will make your fruitcake too dry. Use whole desiccated (shredded) coconut and blend this in a spice grinder or food processor until a flour consistency.
Fruits in the Raw Fruitcake
This raw fruitcake uses both fresh fruit (apple) and dried fruit. Fresh apple gives lightness and juiciness to the cake. For the dried fruit, I used an assortment of apricots, figs, goji berries, and tart cherries. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand; other options are cranberries, raisins, sultanas, currants, pineapple, or even unrefined candied ginger (I do a homemade version). Keep in mind to have a combination of different colours and tastes – for example tart apricots and cherries, and sweet figs and goji berries.
When selecting dried fruit, make sure to choose those that are unsulphured, sugar-free. The ingredient list should only have one item listed, which is whatever that fruit is. Certain dried fruit like dried cranberries and cherries tend to come coated with sunflower oil (even organic brands). This is to prevent spoilage and preserve flavour. A brief soak in warm water will help to dissolve the oil coating.
Spices in Fruitcake
The British call their holiday spice mix “mixed spice” (how creative!) or pudding spice. It is similar to the American pumpkin pie spice or Indian garam masala, having a warm and sweet-spicy flavour and aroma. It is heavy on cinnamon and allspice, and also includes nutmeg, cloves, ginger, sometimes coriander. The fruitcake also contains citrus zest, namely of orange and lemon, which zesty notes balance the rich profile of the cake.
How to make Raw Fruitcake
A quick method to make raw fruitcake is to have your mincemeat mixture ready. The mincemeat is then combined with the coconut and almond flour, and viola, the raw fruitcake is formed! As mincemeat was originally a sweet-savoury concoction, containing ground meat along with dried fruits and spices, I recaptured this sweet-savoury fusion with the addition of miso paste.
Once the cakes are formed, you can place them directly in the freezer, or dehydrate them for a firmer and cakey texture (recommended). Once set, frost the cake. I used COYO coconut yogurt, which has a very thick consistency that is ideal for frosting. Otherwise you could use a cashew-based frosting.
Looking for more Festive Dessert Ideas? Check out my:
Raw Vegan Sugar Plum Figgy Puddings
Raw Vegan Festive Mince Fruit Pies
Raw Vegan After8 Buche de Noel
Winter Warmer Nutty Gingerbread Grawnola
Baked Vegan Sticky Date Pudding with Sariba Root Beer Ice Cream
Dance of the Sugar Pumpkin Fairy (No-Bake Pumpkin Kudzu Cake)
No-Bake Thai Tea Pumpkin Pies
Pumpkin Eggfruit Eggnot with Aquafaba Whip Cream
Hot Cacao Elixir with Gingerbread Marshmallows
Raw Vegan Christmas Spiced Fruitcake
Raw vegan fruitcake packed with wholesome natural 'presents' from nature - fresh apples and dried fruit held in an aromatic network of coconut, nuts, and dates, heady with zippy orange and holiday spice. This recipe makes four mini 7.5 cm (3 inch) cakes. You can make one large cake, if desired.
- 96 g (1 cup) desiccated coconut flour (blitz desiccated coconut, not store-bought which is defatted)
- 60 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) activated almond flour
Mincemeat - Textured Ingredients
- 195 g (1 1/3 cup) mixed dried fruits, soaked in orange juice and chopped (35% dates, 22% apricots, 18% figs, 15% goji berries, 10% tart cherries)
- 50 g (1/2 no) fresh apple, peeled, cored and small dice
- 36 g (1/4 cup) macadamia nuts, chopped
Mincemeat - Wet Spice Mixture
- 32 g (2 tbsp) maple syrup
- 30 g (2 tbsp) orange juice
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp orange zest (zest of 1/2 orange)
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest (zest of 1/4 lemon)
- 1/2 tsp white miso (or generous pinch Himalayan salt)
- 1 tbsp Christmas Spice (recipe below; or a mix of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg & cloves)
- 15 g (1 1/2 tbsp) coconut oil
- 120 g (1/2 cup) COYO coconut yogurt (vanilla)
- 1 handful dried goji berries
- 1 handful activated pumpkin seeds or activated pistachios
- 2 tbsp Ceylon cinnamon powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp allspice powder
- 3/8 tsp cloves powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
For the Dry Ingredients
In a spice grinder or food processor, blend whole activated almonds and desiccated coconut separately until a fine powder. (Skip this step if using store-bought almond flour.)
In a large bowl, combine the almond and coconut flour.
For the Mincemeat - Textured Ingredients
Soak the dried fruits in just enough orange juice to cover for 20 minutes until plump. Drain and cut the dried fruits to 0.6 cm (1/4 inch) cubes. You can vary the mixture of dried fruits, but a combination of different colours and tastes is recommended (e.g. tart apricots and cherries, and sweet figs and goji berries).
While the dried fruits are soaking, cut the apple and macadamia nuts to the size of raisins. Set aside.
For the Mincemeat - Wet Spice Mixture
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the spice mixture and mix well.
Add the textured ingredients to the wet spice mixture and mix well. This mincemeat mixture can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until needed.
Fold the dry ingredients into the mincemeat mixture. Mix well.
On paraflexx sheets, divide the mixture into eight 7.5 cm (3 inch) rounds, using a ring mold to shape them. Dehydrate at 46°C (115°F) for 8 hours or until the exterior is dry to the touch, flipping halfway through. You can also skip dehydrating them and place the rounds directly in the freezer to set, but the cake will be more moist and less firm.
Store the fruit cake in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to frost.
For the Frosting and Decoration
Use an offset spatula and spread a thick layer of coconut yogurt on four rounds. Layer on top the other four rounds and frost the outside of the cakes evenly.
Press a few goji berries and pumpkin seeds or pistachios on the top. Return the frosted cake to the refrigerator or freezer to set. It will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for 1 month.
Best enjoyed with a cup of spiced tea or chai latte.
Alcoholic version: use 1/4 cup cognac or brandy. Burn off some of the alcohol over medium-low heat for 1 minute, then add to the wet spice mixture.