Dec 18, 2014

Vegan Christmas Fruitcake


Oh, Lordy. I’m one year late in making this cake! I wanted to make a fruitcake last year after I had such a great success with my Fabulous Fruitcake Cookies. And I had promised more than one of you that it would be “soon.” Well, better late than not, that’s for sure! But I WISH I had made this yummy cake sooner…

There are no weirdly-colored, dried fruits in here. You’ve seen them, haven’t you? Green cherries? I don’t think so. Not in MY fruitcake! But have you ever eaten those so-called fruits? They’re terrible. Stripped of all their nutritional goodness, bleached and then dyed with food coloring and laden with sugar and/or corn syrup. Yuk. There is also usually something called citron in fruitcakes. I’m sure the fruit, in its native form, is good but again… they decimate it nutritionally for fruitcakes and it is not tasty at all. No wonder fruitcakes have gotten a bum rap! Nothing but whole food goodness is what this version delivers.

THIS fruitcake is sooooo yummy. And, yes, there is booze in it. But the alcohol does cook off when it’s baked. Of course, you could also brush on more AFTER it’s baked if you want to make it a grown-up holiday treat. Can you tell by the photos how moist this cake is? Let me tell you, I had to take my photos really fast before it was all gone!

One of my mini-loaves, giving as a gift!


Vegan Christmas Fruitcake
Deep, rich flavors in a moist, hearty loaf. Fruitcake does NOT have to be hard, dry and filled with weird, candied fruit!
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  1. ~ dry
  2. 2 cups tightly-packed, blanched almond flour
  3. 1¾ cups flour of your choice (I used whole spelt flour, but you could also use any gluten-free mix, whole wheat, etc.)
  4. 1 cup chopped pecans
  5. 1 cup chopped walnuts
  6. 1 TBS flax meal
  7. ¼ tsp cinnamon
  8. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  9. pinch of cloves
  10. 1½ tsp baking soda
  11. 1½ tsp baking powder
  12. ~ wet
  13. 2½ cups dried fruits (I used ½ cup each of sweet cherries, goji berries, cranberries, currants and golden raisins)
  14. 1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed is best!)
  15. 1 cup rum, brandy or bourbon (I used dark rum)
  16. ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  17. ½ cup molasses (I used sorghum molasses, which has a wonderfully mellow flavor)
  18. ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  1. Soak the fruit overnight in the alcohol and orange juice.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Lightly grease 2 standard-sized loaf pans (or you can use mini-loaves or one large bundt pan).
  4. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  5. Add the soaked fruits, with the alcohol they’ve soaked in, and the remaining wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well to combine. The dough will be very thick.
  6. Portion into your loaf pans, smooth the top of the dough and bake for one hour, covered loosely with foil. If using mini-loaf pans, decrease baking time by 15 minutes. Let cakes cool in the pans.
  7. When cool, unmold carefully and brush with a bit of rum or whatever booze you’re using (optional).
Helyn's Plant-Based Kitchen
Happy Holidays and enjoy!

Healthy trails, 


44 responses to “Vegan Christmas Fruitcake”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yay!!!!!! I've been waiting for the fruitcake recipe!!!!!! Better late than never is right. I can tell it was worth the wait though 🙂

  2. Helyn says:

    Aww, you're too kind! Thanks for your patience. I sure hope you enjoy it! :))

  3. Anonymous says:

    This looks perfect… can't wait to try it!

  4. Helyn says:

    Thanks! Enjoy 🙂

  5. deb says:

    This looks lovely. I think I'm going to try to get it made for Christmas Day. Any thoughts for subbing the alcohol? I was thinking maybe apple cider(?) Thanks!

  6. Helyn says:

    Apple cider is a great idea, Deb. Or just increase the orange juice. Merry Christmas!

  7. lightwork11 says:

    Thank you for this recipe. Sometimes I feel as if I'm the only one in the world who loves fruitcake and plum pudding (vegan)! Maybe a recipe for vegan plum pudding is forthcoming, possibly with a clear rum sauce?

  8. Nancy says:

    My brother and l were just discussing homemade fruitcake yesterday. Now l have a yummy looking recipe to make it. What can l use to replace the alcohol in it?

  9. Helyn says:

    Are you psychic? How'd you know? I'm making one tomorrow. :))

  10. Nancy says:

    Thanks l just asked the same question.

  11. debola says:

    So thrilled to find a vegan gluten free option for fruitcake!! Will make this this weekend!! Thanks so much!! Looks delicious!

  12. Helyn says:

    You're welcome! Enjoy!!

  13. Heaven on Earth – all of my Christmas wishes just came true!

  14. Helyn says:

    Aww, you're welcome, Kytka!

  15. Helyn says:

    IMPORTANT NOTE!!! Big apologies, I left out a crucial ingredient when this was first published. If you've already printed this out, please ADD 1½ teaspoons baking powder to your dry ingredients. Yikes. So sorry for any mishaps! 🙁

  16. Helyn says:

    Deb, please see added ingredient above!

  17. Helyn,
    Yes, baking soda is indeed a vital ingredient. If you want something to work on for next year, I'd kill for a vegan stollen recipe. I should experiment myself, but I never seem to have enough time, and I'm not that comfortable with vegan baking at this point.
    Thanks for your great recipes. Bethery

  18. Helyn says:

    Oh, my. Another challenge! Well, I think by next year I should be up for a stollen recipe! I used to LOVE them, too. Merry Christmas, Bethery!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Is it baking powder or baking soda? Recipe now says baking soda, but your comments say baking powder. And should the almond flour be tightly packed like in the fruitcake cookie recipe?

    I'd printed the recipe the other day and actually had it in the oven right now! Uh-Oh! The batter was not thick at all, so I was on here now checking to see if there had been a correction and saw the comments about baking powder/soda. (The recipe I printed out ended with cloves in the dry list. Do we add baking soda and baking powder?)

    I'm taking the pans out of the oven (they've only been in a few minutes), will dump in it all back in a bowl and put in fridge until I figure out what to add to it. soda/powder/more almond flour? It would not have turned out anyway, so I have nothing to lose! I won't be able to try to bake it again until tonight, but I'm thinking the batter should be ok, since it's basically fruit, nuts, GF flour and booze! lol

  20. Anonymous says:

    No worries Helyn! I really love all your recipes and I'm sure this will be just fine after I add the baking soda. (The "important note" in red above still says to add baking powder-btw)

    The batter has thickened up since being in fridge and I don't think I'll add anymore almond flour when I finally get to try baking it again tonight. I'll mix in the baking soda right before putting it in the pan. Somehow I think the soda could foul up since it would be sitting in fridge all day. Eh? What do I know? Hahaha!

    When I do try baking it again, I don't know if I should try dividing it into 2 loaf pans or just put it in a 10 in tube pan? Decisions, decisions…

  21. Helyn says:

    Thank you for your graciousness and understanding! Yes, you're right, once you add the soda you'd need to get it in the oven right away. Thanks, I'll change the note in red. I haven't done it in a tube pan yet but I think it would be very festive that way. Merry Christmas!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    do you think it would work with just flour instead of almond flour? It is hugely expensive here. Appreciate your help, soaking fruits now!
    I'm in Canada

  23. Helyn says:

    The almond flour does give it moisture, since there is no oil or butter in the recipe. Do you have any almond butter or cashew butter? You could add 1/4 cup and use regular flour to replace the almond flour… I haven't done this so I can't promise you a good result. But it may work! Otherwise, you could increase the applesauce to 3/4 cup. Hope it works out for you!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I was finally able to add the baking soda and bake it! It was a little challenging stirring the soda into the chilled batter, but I must have gotten it blended in because it turned out perfectly. I used a tube pan rather than the loaf pans. Fruitcake crisis averted!!!! You've done it again with another fantastic recipe!!! Thank you! Thank you!

  25. Helyn says:

    YAY YAY YAY!!!! I am so happy that it was a success. I will sleep well tonight! 🙂

  26. Josh Norem says:

    I second the request for a vegan stollen recipe!!!

  27. Helyn says:

    Okay! I have a year to fiddle with a recipe so I will do my best to create one for you guys for next Christmas! xo

  28. Anonymous says:

    Oh Gosh, I went out to buy almond flour based on your advice above and I'm so glad I did. This cake smelled incredible while it was baking, and everyone who tried it loved it. I can't wait for next Christmas to make this again, it will definitely become a staple in my household. Thank you so much for this!

  29. Helyn says:

    Yay! We love it too. My honey says I can make it any time! (not wait for Christmas!)… :))

  30. sue says:

    So very yummy! Thanks! My BF gags at the mention of Fruitcake but he agreed this one was very good! Christmas fruitcake?? Bah humbug!!, this is everyday Fruitcake!!!

  31. sue says:

    Better prices for AF at Costco ?

  32. Deborah Andrews says:

    Do you mean, add baking powder in addition to the baking soda that is already listed?

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi Deborah! Ah, somehow this one slipped by me. Again. I have updated the recipe ingredients. Yes, it is both powder and soda. Sorry for any confusion!

  33. Deborah says:

    Thank you for clarification. I’m looking forward to making this!

  34. Deborah says:

    Oops, I just noticed that baking soda is listed twice now in the ingredients, just FYI….still planning on making this and thanks for your generous postings of recipes!

  35. Deborah says:

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I made 6 mini loaves this morning to gift to my friends and family. My husband and I wolfed down one whole loaf this afternoon. (Taste testing is always necessary. Am I right?) Christmas fruitcake is for everyone this year. Might I add that all of the fruits were obtained from Whole Foods bulk foods area. I was able to purchase just 1/2 cup of all the different dried fruits, hence no expensive large amts. left languishing in the back of the cupboard.

    • helynskitchen says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Deborah! And what a GREAT idea about getting the dried fruits in the bulk bins! Thanks for sharing that, too! 🙂

  36. Maureen says:

    Made this this morning, started yesterday evening of course. I used brandy, coconut sugar instead of molasses and maple syrup (keeping the cost down) and buckwheat flour as there is a gluten free Christmas guest. Just had a piece, made one small and one big, and it is really delicious. Thank you for creating it, just so great!

    • helynskitchen says:

      Yay! Glad it was a hit. Oh, what a great idea with buckwheat flour! I’m going to use that next time. Thanks!! 🙂

  37. Natalie says:

    How long does this cake last for? Can I make it like a traditional fruit cake and keep it for six weeks?

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi Natalie! PLEASE ACCEPT MY APOLOGIES for this horrid delay in responding to you! My website had a big glitch and I wasn’t receiving pending comments. Nope, I doubt it would last as long as a traditional cake. If you store it in the fridge it should last about 2 weeks. I hope you will try it! 🙂

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