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Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake excerpted from A Very Vegan Christmas by Sam Dixon.

A classic made vegan, you can bake the cake up to 2 weeks in advance and store undecorated and well wrapped in an airtight container for up to 1 week, during which time you can feed it with extra rum or brandy every now and then, depending on how boozy you want it, up until at least a couple of days before icing so that the surface is dry. It’s best to decorate it the day before serving so that the icing is thoroughly set.

Christmas Cake excerpted from A Very Vegan Christmas by Sam Dixon.

Christmas Cake

Sam Dixon
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 10 -12 people


For cake:

  • 8 oz (250g) vegan butter or coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 6 oz (175g) soft light brown sugar
  • finely grated zest of 2 oranges and juice of 1 finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (reserve 1 tablespoon juice for the icing)
  • 1/4 pint (150ml) rum or brandy, plus extra (optional) for feeding
  • 1-3/4 lb (875g) mixed dried fruit of your choice, such as sultanas, raisins, currants, cranberries and chopped figs and apricots
  • 3-1/2 oz (100g) chopped candied peel
  • 6 oz (175g) plain flour
  • 4 oz (125g) ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7-1/2 oz (225g) apple purée

For icing:

  • 1-1/4 lb (625g) icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 fl oz (75ml) aquafaba 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 lb (500g) vegan marzipan


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F), Gas Mark 3. Grease a deep 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin and line with nonstick baking paper.
  • Melt the vegan butter or coconut oil in a saucepan along with the brown sugar, citrus zest and juice and rum or brandy (if using). Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  • Add the dried fruit and candied peel to a large bowl, pour over the vegan butter/coconut oil mixture and stir well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and spices.
  • Mix the apple purée into the dried fruit mixture, then fold in the flour mixture until just combined.
  • Pour the cake batter into the lined tin, smooth the surface with a spatula and bake for 1-1/2 hours. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely in the tin. Once cooled, pierce holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer, drizzle over 2 tablespoons rum or brandy and let it soak in. Make sure the surface is fully dry before decorating.
  • When you are ready to decorate, whisk together the icing sugar, aquafaba and lemon juice in a large bowl until you have a stiff and glossy icing. Cover the bowl with clingfilm until needed.
  • Heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan, then brush over the top and sides of the cake. On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan into a rough circle until about 2.5 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Lay carefully over the cake and gently smooth it on to the top and down around the sides so that there is no air trapped inside. Neaten by smoothing over with the flat of your palm or the rolling pin and trim away any excess.
  • Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread over the icing in swoops and flicks to look like snow, or you can make it completely smooth. Let the icing set completely for at least a few hours before cutting.


A Very Vegan Christmas by Sam Dixon (© 2023). Photographs by Charlotte Nott-Macaire. Published by Hamlyn, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group.Recipe reprinted with permission from A Very Vegan Christmas by Sam Dixon. Published by Hamlyn, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group, 2023. Photography by Charlotte Nott-Macaire.
Keyword A Very Vegan Christmas, Apple puree, aquafaba , Baking, Brandy, Brown sugar, Christmas, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Holiday, Lemon, marzipan, Nutmeg, Oranges, Sam Dixon

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