Make sure you use a 5-spice powder which doesn’t contain any onion or garlic, or alternatively make your own blend from ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and star anise.
Nut-free Christmas cake
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- 1kg dried ready-to-eat tropical fruits, eg mango, pineapple and papaya, chopped
- 100g angelica, chopped
- 100g red glace cherries, quartered or halved
- 250g (8oz) butter
- 250g (8oz) light muscovado sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 300g (10oz) plain flour
- 1 tsp of five-spice powder
- 4-5 tbsp of rum
- 20cm round or 18cm square cake tin, lined with baking parchment
Set the oven to cool Gas Mark 2 or 150°C.
Mix together the dried fruits, angelica and cherries.
Cream the butter, sugar and 5-spice powder together, until the mixture is light and fluffy and pale in colour. Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time along with a dessertspoon of flour with each egg. Fold in the remaining flour, and stir in the chopped fruit and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and use a damp hand to smooth the surface flat.
Bake in the centre of the oven for about 2½ to 3 hours, covering the cake with a sheet of baking parchment or foil if it appears to be browning too quickly. To test if the cake is cooked, insert a warmed skewer and if it comes out clean then the cake is cooked, but if any of the mixture sticks to the skewer, then return the cake to the oven and cook for a little longer.
Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin, placed on a cooling rack. After 10-15 minutes, while the cake is still warm, pour the rum over the top of the cake, and tilt the cake so that the rum runs over the entire surface, then leave to cool completely.
To store the cake, when it's cold wrap in baking parchment then in foil and store in a cool place for up to two months.
Last updated one year ago