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Fruit and Nut Christmas Cake (gluten free)

This delicious Fruit and Nut Christmas Cake has the perfect combination of sweet fruit, nuts, and warm Christmas spices. It's the perfect addition to your holiday baking list! You'll especially love that it is light and fluffy, has tasty pieces of pineapple and pecans throughout it, and most importantly it is gluten-free and dairy free! This one-bowl, no-electrical appliance-needed Christmas Cake is so easy that anyone can bake it!


What is Christmas Cake?

Christmas cake is a long-standing tradition that started back in the 16th century! This tradition has been carried through from all over the world and has many variations depending on the recipes that have been passed down over the years. The Christmas cake is a very popular cake during Christmas with variations of cakes with frosting, mixed spices, powdered sugar, orange zest, other fruits, and more!


In England, Christmas cake is a tradition that began as plum porridge. People ate the porridge on Christmas Eve, using it to line their stomachs after a day of fasting. Soon dried fruit, spices, and honey were added to the porridge mixture, and eventually, it turned into Christmas pudding.

In the United States, fruit cake is often served around Christmas time but this is not considered an actual Christmas Cake.


Why is it called Christmas Cake?

In the 16th century, oatmeal was removed from the original recipe, and butter, wheat flour, and eggs were added. These ingredients helped hold the mixture together in what resulting in a boiled plum cake. Richer families that had ovens began making fruit cakes with marzipan, an almond sugar paste, for Easter. For Christmas, they made a similar cake using seasonal dried fruit and spices. The spices represented the exotic eastern spices brought by the Wise Men. This cake became known as "Christmas cake."

(English Tea Store)


Watch How to Make It

How do you Make Fruit and Nut Christmas Cake?

This recipe requires no beating of eggs and butter and no sifting of flour. And though it is not made like a traditional Christmas Cake, it tastes like one - and even better!

Let's begin!


  • First, you will need to soak all the dried fruit in a bowl along with the orange zest, orange juice, and brandy. It is best to soak overnight but a minimum of 3 hours works just as well.


  • In the meantime, prepare the remaining ingredients. I like to chop up the whole fruit (dried apricots and pineapple slices) and nuts (pecans and pistachios), rather than buying them already crushed or diced.