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Vegetarian Vegan Christmas Cake


Big Boozy Yule Cake

A lovely, easy fruit cake that is good at just about any time of the year, although especially nice during the festive season.

  • 350g/12oz fine self-raising wholemeal flour OR 175/6oz each of fine self-raising wholemeal and half white self-raising
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 175g/6oz vegan margarine OR 115ml/4fl oz sunflower or similar oil plus 60ml/2floz soya milk
  • 150g dark brown sugar – if very lumpy, sieve or grind up before adding
  • 500g/generous 1lb mixed dried fruit
  • 100g/4oz glacé cherries, dried and halved
  • Grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 50g/2oz flaked almonds
  • 1 tbsp black treacle/molasses
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 125ml/4fl oz soya milk
  • 2 tbsp red wine OR cider vinegar
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas Mark 2 and grease a 20cm/8 inch cake tin top and bottom. Line the sides with a double layer of greased baking parchment. NB reduce temperature a little if using a fan-assisted oven – about 5-10 degrees.
  2. Sift flour and mixed spice into a bowl.
  3. Rub margarine/oil into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add sugar, dried fruit, cherries, orange zest, flaked almonds, black treacle/molasses and ground almonds.
  4. Warm half the soya milk in a small saucepan and add the vinegar.
  5. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) in the rest of the soya milk, then add this to the milk and vinegar mixture. It foams up very dramatically!
  6. Quickly stir this into the flour and fruit, mixing well so that everything is combined.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth out the top. Cover top of cake with a double layer of baking parchment to prevent burning.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 2-2½ hours, (check after 2 hours) until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the centre of the cake springs back a little when pressed. The secret is to make sure the cake is cooked in the middle but the fruit hasn’t burned round the edges!
  9. Leave cake in tin to cool then turn out and strip off the greaseproof paper. Place carefully on a cooling rack – a clean grill pan rack will do.
  10. Prick cake all over with a cocktail stick and pour over 2 tbsp brandy.
  11. Wrap in baking parchment and store in a tin until required. It will keep for 3-4 weeks, during which time you can ‘feed’ it with more brandy, as above!
  12. It may also be covered with vegan marzipan and fondant icing shortly before serving, if desired.

Adapted with thanks from Vegan Feasts by Rose Elliot

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