Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Paleo Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake

Hey Paleo Peeps!

Whatever the reasons it made me think of old memories - my Mum cooking the Christmas cake every year and watching the mixing together of what seemed like hundreds of ingredients. The smell of the zested fruits, the alcohol, the bags of dried fruits and the sticky glacĂ© cherries. The overnight steeping of the ingredients and us children being warned not to make noise for fear the cake would collapse in the middle.The inevitable rows when we couldn't be quiet, and the mad shoving to the car to visit our Grandmother until the cake had finished its 6 hour cooking marathon.

This cake is rich and morish and has strong flavours of brandy. But most importantly it tastes like Christmas and memories.

Traditionally an Irish Christmas cake is made with the fruits outlined, but you can use a combination of any dried fruits - dates, apricots etc)

Try it! It is great immediately and gets even better with age, so bake now for your Christmas guests or as a festive gift for a gluten free or Paleo friend. (That's if you can resist it until then!!)

1.25 cups Sultanas
1.25 cups Raisins
1.25 cups Currants
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1/4 of a fresh nutmeg or 1/4 tsp
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
2.5 tbsp brandy (optional, but hey it is Christmas!! Use 1 tbsp of vanilla extract in it's place)
2 cups ground almonds/almond meal
Handful chopped almonds
3 eggs
3 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a 20 cm round tin on sides and bottom with parchment paper.

2. Add fruit, juice and grated zests, spice and 1.5 tbsp of the brandy and stir well. If you have the time you can let this sit overnight in a cool dry place, but it is not necessary.
3. Add the eggs, olive oil, ground almonds and chopped almonds and mix well to combine.
4. Pour into the prepared tin and level the top with a spatula.
5. Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour 15 to 1 hour 45 checking with a skewer. If it comes out clean it is done.
6. Make several holes in the top of the cake with a skewer and pour the remaining brandy (if using) on top of the warm cake and leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes.
7. Remove gently from tin, remove parchment and leave to cool on a rack.


  1. This sounds really good, glad you got to do the traditional baking thing - enjoy!
    Might even give it a try meself, was never a great one for the cake however I always loved the pudding and I think your cake would fill either role, mmm, I can hear the cream thickening...

  2. Looks great! What is mixed spice? I am in Canada

  3. Mixed spice is a mixture of
    1 part ground allspice
    1 part ground cinnamon
    1 part ground nutmeg
    2 part ground mace
    1 part ground cloves
    1 part ground coriander
    1 part ground Ginger

    Hope you enjoy it!

  4. Just made these and they are delish thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Now I can have a really special treat at Christmas along with everyone else.

  5. Hi Great recipe but wondering if you could check the quantities of fruit? Are you meaning cups or grams? ( nothing for raisins)
    1.25 cups Sultanas
    1.25 Raisins
    1.25g Currants


  6. Hi, would fresh orange juice work to pour over cake after its cooked instead of brandy? I'll put brandy in it but think my kids won't like it with poured over as well?? Cheers, Michelle (from Australia)

  7. Hi, I am english, I dont work in cups, could you do a rough amount in grams please?

    Love the look of the recipe though! :D

    1. I, too, am from the UK. You can buy cup measures in any supermarket here - even in Scotland, where I live. Or you could use a teacup. That's what I do. It's much easier than weighing out each ingredient.

  8. What are Sultanas? I am from USA

    1. A sultana is a type of dried grape - bigger than a raisin or a current. We have sultanas from California here in the UK, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding them where you are. Or just use a mixture of raisins or sultanas to the correct amount of dried fruit.

  9. I use regular raisins and golden raisins../