A Merry Vegan (& GF) Christmas Cake


Well, I thought I would be good and post this before Christmas all ready for Christmas Eve baking ….. as with many GF recipes it is best eaten within a day or two so plenty of time to get the ingredients ready 🙂 It is the same one that I share each year but figure better to have it in your face than searching for it!

Decorating the letterbox

Themselves have been super busy, in and out of activities over the past month: combinations of activities, lessons, competitions (both Judo and sailing), broken collar bones (himself), holidays and a tummy bug (herself) has meant the time has flown by and it is hard to believe that the end of the year is so close. This year we are hanging close to home which will be the first time in a while … have to say I’m looking forward to not having to travel! The excitement is building for themselves though and while they have decorated the letterbox for a neighbourhood search, Christmas Eve is the big night when we get the tree up and the decorations out proper. Another Christmas Eve highlight each year is to drive around the area looking at all the Christmas lights ….. though this does mean a tight schedule for Santa to arrive 🙂 Now all we need is for the weather to improve as it still doesn’t really feel like Summer is properly here with all the muggy, overcast days and rain we have been having.

Merry Christmas …. the non vegan have also been doing some gingerbread reindeer making

This recipe is pretty easy and great for us as it means the vegans amongst us still have a taste of ‘traditional’ Christmas fare. I have halved the original recipe so that it fitted into my bread loaf tin which also meant that it was consumed in a timely manner (it is best eaten within 2 days). Sadly, I can’t remember which book I got the recipe from all those years ago and I have altered it quite a bit over the few of times I have baked it so if you recognize it please let me know so I can credit the original correctly.

As you’ll know if you’ve been reading my blogs for a while I like simple and quick recipes. This one is a little out of the norm for me as it required cooking and mashing some kumara prior to mixing everything in one pot …. thankfully I survived the ordeal as it wasn’t quite as daunting as it seemed when I first read it 🙂   I figure one extra dish for some yummy Christmas cake was worth the effort ….. at least once a year that is.  The almond essence and decoration definitely gave it that Christmassy look and taste while using the vanilla essence instead, and flagging the decoration, produced a good fruit cake for any occasion.


So here is it for you to play around with and enjoy over this festive season and beyond ….

A Merry Vegan Christmas Cake

1 Tb maple syrup

250 gm of raisins or sultanas

1 Cup of water

1 small apple (peeled and grated)

62 gms chopped almonds – or in my case bashed almonds 

1/2 cup of mashed kumara (doesn’t matter if it is cold or warm)

1.5 Tb olive oil

1 tsp almond essence (vanilla also works fine if you just want a fruit cake)

3/4 Cup rice flour

3/4 Cup buckwheat flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp cinnamon

extra almonds to decorate – optional

  • Bring maple syrup, fruit and water to the boil in a large pot then remove from the heat.
  • Add apple, bashed almonds, kumara, essence along with oil and mix well.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well again.
  • Pour into a baking paper lined tin and gently press in extra almonds to decorate.
  • Bake at 160 C for 45 mins and then leave to cool in the oven for the next 15-20 mins before placing on a cooling rack.
  • Store in an airtight container and enjoy.

Hope this finds you surrounded by those you love and who love you, enjoying each other.




A ‘Free’ Christmas Recipe for you


Wow…. just lit the third candle of our advent wreath so that must mean that it is time to begin thinking of Christmas Cakes!  Last year was my first sugar free Christmas and with the help of a few friends I found some great recipes for Christmas Cake.


The sugar free, gluten free, dairy free Christmas cake I made so that I could pig out on cake!

They were both gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free and both delicious.  I thought I’d share my favourite one with you again this year.  I had planned to have tried out a new recipe that a lovely friend gave me but, well…… let’s just say that I haven’t got the ingredients yet 🙂

As soon as I’ve tried the new recipe and given it a thumbs up I’ll share.  Until then, here is one for you to try.

Free Fruit Cake.

  • 3/4 Cup Bin Inn Gluten Free Flour (this is a rice flour, tapioca and corn starch mix)
  • 2 Cups of Walnut and Almonds
  • 1 Cup Pitted Dates
  • 1/2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Cherries (ceres brand or cherryvite)
  • 1 Small Cup thinly sliced citrus rinds – grapefruit, orange etc.  (I boiled them up with some honey water to soften however if sugar doesn’t worry you then use mixed peel)
  • Handful of diced dried apricots (enough to get mixture to a better consistency)
  • 1 Cup Sultanas
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 3/4 Cup Orange Juice (natural without added sugar)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Almond Essence

Line the bottom of a 20cm cake tin with cardboard and baking paper. Preheat oven to 125°C. Finely chop dates, chop most of the nuts and cherries, leaving a few to decorate the top of the cake. Place sifted gluten free flour and gluten free baking powder in a large bowl. Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Beat eggs and orange juice together, add to mixture. Place into the lined baking tin, press down firmly. Decorate with cherries and nuts. Bake at 125°C for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the oven.

Many thanks toBinn Inn NZ for their yummy recipe.  http://www.bininn.co.nz/recipes/view/gluten-and-sugar-free-fruit-cake

Hope this finds you all stress-free in the lead up to a lovely full moon Christmas 2015.






A free Christmas


A free Christmas? Surely she must be kidding I can hear you say….. however it may sound a bit more plausible if I tell you the ‘free’ I’m talking about is the ‘dietary requirements’ kind.

This will be my first Christmas sugar free, add to that the fact that I just feel better without gluten and dairy in my life and well….. it begs the question ‘how the hell am I going to have a Christmas cake this year??!!’

Last year's cake which was gluten free but still with sugar and dairy.

Last year’s cake which was gluten free but still with sugar and dairy.

I’ve looked in a few books and while there are options they are a bit limited to include all three. Many have honey and sugar or a pound load of butter.  I’m gearing myself up for a week of experimentation – replacing ingredients, juggling weights and generally praying, while crossing my fingers, that I will be producing something edible! 🙂

Last year's pavlova smothered in cream and loads of sugar inside.

Last year’s pavlova smothered in cream and loads of sugar inside… at least the strawberry part was healthy.

Last year I did make a pavlova (GF), one of my favourites, and I’m thinking of trying that with dextrose this year however I don’t like using that stuff too much. Sooooooo…..I’m posting this to see if you all have any wonderful ideas and recipes to share.  I will post any successes I have and would love to hear of your plans for ‘healthy’ Chrissy cakes this year.