Traditionally, proper Christmas fruit cake baking should commence at least 6 weeks in advance or better yet, 12 weeks before Santa arrives. If like me you’ve missed the deadline, this No-bake Christmas fruit cake will help you out of a tight spot.
There are scores of benefits to making this Christmas cake, the least of which is the no-bake method.
In a nutshell, here’s what to expect
- Can be made ahead of time and frozen for easy holiday entertaining
- Packed with health-boosting whole food ingredients
- Plant based and dairy-free
- Made in a blender
The core ingredients are Medjool dates, nuts, dried fruits and all the warming Christmas spices. Holding it all together are toffee-like dates, coconut oil and maple syrup, I dry toast the nuts for extra flavour. Brandy or sherry are obligatory for a full-bodied Christmas bloom, so I plump up the fruit with a quick maceration. If you’re serving it to children, you can easily substitute with rooibos tea or orange juice.
Serve with after dinner coffees, or as part of a cheese board with a selection of cheese and seasonal fruits. Savoury crisp-bread with a wedge of cake and soft gorgonzola cheese is sublimely delicious. I’d give it a try.
No-bake Christmas fruit cake
- 300g (2 cups) dried fruit cake mix (raisins, currants, sultanas, orange peel, cranberries)
- 1 knob preserved ginger, finely chopped
- 45ml (3 tablespoons) brandy or sherry
- 100g (1cup) raw walnuts
- 100g (1 cup) raw pecan nuts
- 150g (about 1 cup) Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
- a generous pinch of nutmeg
- 45ml (3 tablespoons) cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- preserved fruit or fresh fruit, for finishing
- Combine the dried fruit mix and preserved ginger pieces with the brandy in a bowl. Set aside to macerate for an hour or to speed up the process, heat in the microwave for 40 seconds.
- Toast the nuts in a pan over a medium heat until they smell fragrant and nutty. Set aside to cool.
- Place the pitted dates in a food processor and blitz until broken down.
- Add all the spices, cocoa powder, salt, coconut oil and maple syrup to the dates and pulse to combine.
- Transfer the date mixture to a mixing bowl. Pulse the nuts and all the macerated fruit until fine, but still with some texture.
- Add the nut mixture to the dates and work together by hand until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- If your food processor is large enough, add all the ingredients at once and pulse to combine.
- Press the cake mixture into a greased 15cm round cake tin, cover with foil and freeze until firm, about 3 hours.
- To un-mould, run a smooth-bladed knife around the sides and turn out onto a cake stand. Top with preserved or fresh fruit just before serving.
- Keep the cake chilled in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to 3 weeks ahead of time. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
For more no bake dessert recipes, you may like to try these two Bibby’s Kitchen favourites.
The Bibby’s Kitchen Cookbook
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