Food & Drinks

Make little gluten-free Christmas cakes for your family this season!

A delicious home-made treat to gift to friends, family, teachers and neighbours this festive season.

With food allergies and intolerances on the rise never has there been such an interest in recipes that use ingredients which are gentler on the digestive system. If you have a family member who is coeliac or allergic to or intolerant of wheat, these little gluten-free Christmas cakes will mean they don’t have to miss out on the tradition of sharing Christmas cake this festive season.

Prep and cook time: 2 1/2 Hours (plus cooling time)

Makes: 6


  • 1kg dried fruit mix

  • 1 cup (140g) pitted dates, chopped

  • ½ cup (160g) fig jam

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup (250ml) ginger beer

  • 250g butter, softened

  • 1 cup (220g) firmly packed dark brown sugar

  • 4 eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 cup (110g) almond meal

  • ¾ cup (110g) gluten-free plain flour

  • ½ cup (75g) gluten-free self-raising flour

  • walnuts, pecans, macadamias, blanched and natural almonds, to decorate

  • ⅓ cup (80ml) dark rum, plus extra, optional

  • ribbon, to decorate


1) Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line the base and sides of six deep 9cm round cake pans with three layers of baking paper, extending paper 4cm above the edge of the pans.

2) Combine fruit mix, dates, jam, rinds, spices and ginger beer in a large bowl. Stand for 30 minutes.

3) Beat butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Stir in almond meal and combined sifted flours, then fruit mix.

4) Spoon the cake mixture into prepared pans; smooth the tops. Cover the tops generously with the nuts. Bake for about 1½ -2 hours or until a thin-bladed knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

5) Brush the tops of the cakes with rum. Snip edges of baking paper to fold over cakes. Cover hot cakes tightly with foil; wrap in clean tea towels. Cool the cakes in pans overnight. Turn cakes out. Remove paper. Brush cakes with extra rum, if desired.

6) Store in an airtight container. Decorate cakes with ribbon and wrap in cellophane or place in gift boxes just before giving.

Suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.

Photography by John Paul Urizar, Styling by Michele Cranston

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