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Moist Vegan Fruit Cake (Boiled Fruit Cake)

 A wonderfully moist vegan fruit cake that's super easy to make and full of plump fruit and warming Christmas spices, perfect for afternoon tea.

Moist Vegan Fruit Cake (Boiled Fruit Cake)

Moist Vegan Fruit Cake (Boiled Fruit Cake)


One of my favourite childhood memories is the smell of cake spices wafting through the house, which meant my mum was baking a fruit cake.

We would slather it with butter and demolish it while it was still warm (I think that may be a very Scottish thing to do).

Of course, it wasn't dairy-free, egg-free, or vegan, so I decided it was about time I created my own moist vegan fruit cake.

I wanted to use the same boiled fruit cake method which leaves you with a moist fruit loaf.

After a bit of experimentation, I can honestly say this is the best vegan fruit cake.

It's also now my favourite cake, knocking my vegan jaffa orange loaf cake off the top spot!

That's how good it is.


Why is this vegan fruit loaf so good?


I'm actually drooling thinking about it!

Here are some of the reasons it's so good.

  • It's easy to make
  • No egg and no dairy
  • It's fruity
  • The dried fruit is juicy and plump because it's boiled
  • A moist cake (there is nothing worse than a dry fruit cake)
  • Light and fluffy
  • Warm and spicy flavours
  • Slices well
  • Can be frozen

Is it like Christmas cake?



It's dark, spiced and fruity like a vegan Christmas cake.

However, it's much less dense, and more of a moist, soft fruit cake.

Also, it's baked in a loaf tin and not a round cake tin.

I'm honestly considering making this instead of a heavier vegan Christmas cake, as I by far prefer this and think my family will too.

There is so much heavy food a Christmas, a light fruit cake would be perfect.



Does fruit cake contain alcohol?



You might think it contains alcohol as I was talking about Christmas cake, but this is an alcohol-free cake.

This is another thing in its favour as so many do contain alcohol and not everyone wants alcohol in a cake.

Can you add alcohol?


 
If you are thinking of serving this for dessert at Sunday dinner, a family gathering like Easter or for Christmas you might like to add some alcohol.

However, don't pour alcohol over the cake, as you do with a traditional fruit cake or Christmas cake as you will ruin the cake.

It's too soft to cope with this method.

Having said that, you can add some, by soaking the dried fruit in rum, brandy or whisky overnight before you make the cake.

Then drain it and add it to the mixture as per the recipe.


What do you add to the cake instead of egg?



I've made fruit cakes with flax eggs instead of regular eggs. 

They suit a heavier type of cake, rather than little light cupcakes.

However, for this recipe, I added apple sauce.

Just the type you can buy in a glass jar in the supermarket.


Dairy-free fruit loaf cake, sliced and spread with dairy-free butter.

What you need to make a vegan fruit loaf cake



Here are the simple ingredients you need to make this vegan tea loaf that's perfect for afternoon tea.

  1. Plain flour - also called all-purpose flour
  2. Brown sugar - or demerara sugar
  3. Baking powder
  4. Salt - just a pinch
  5. Mixed fruit - dried fruit, see below for details
  6. Mixed spice - see alternative below
  7. Ground cinnamon
  8. Ground ginger
  9. Vegan butter - or spread (margarine)
  10. Oat milk - or your regular milk
  11. Treacle - or molasses
  12. Apple sauce - homemade or jarred apple sauce from the supermarket


What is mixed spice?




Mixed spice is a British blend of sweet spices that work well in cakes, especially fruit cake or fruit loaf.

It is usually a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger but may also contain coriander seeds, cloves, pimento or cayenne pepper and caraway seeds.

The one I buy from Tesco is a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander seeds, cloves, pimento and ginger.


What can I use instead of mixed spice?



Pumpkin spice has a very similar flavour profile as mixed spice, so can be used instead of it.

Or you can make your own mix of cinnamon, nutmeg ginger and cloves.

Just make sure the cinnamon is the predominant flavour.


a bowl of mixed dried fruit.


Which dried fruit is in mixed fruit?



Supermarkets sell premade mixes of dried fruit, which is just called mixed fruit.

It varies from brand to brand, but it usually contains sultanas, raisins, currants and candied peel.



Can you make your own fruit mix?



Yes, you can definitely make your own mixed fruit with whatever you have in the house.

Alternatively, you can just use sultanas or raisins if that is all you have and add a bit of finely grated orange, lemon or lime zest.



Which dried fruit can be used in fruitcake?



Here are some dried fruits that can be added to your homemade dried fruit mix.

  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Pineapple
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Sultanas

lined loaf tin.

Which size of cake tin do I need?



To make this easy vegan fruitcake, you need a 2 lb or 900g loaf tin.

The size of the tins varies slightly, but don't worry about that, they are very similar.

I use one of my bigger 2lb loaf tins and it doesn't rise above the edge of the tin, but it would with a slightly smaller 2 lb tin.

The average 2lb loaf tin is 21 cm long x 11 cm wide x 7 cm high (8 x 4 x 3 inches approximately.


Line that loaf tin!



For easy removal of the mixed fruit cake, you'll want to line the loaf tin.

I buy ready-made loaf liners for ease of use, but you can make your own liner from non-stick baking paper.

To make your own, turn the loaf tin upside down and cut the paper to fit the outside of the tin, then pop inside, once you have the right fit.

Spreading a little vegan butter or spread around the inside rim will stop the paper flapping about as you pour the fruit loaf batter into the tin.


Slices of vegan boiled fruit cake on a floral teaplate.

How to serve vegan boiled fruit cake



You will love this cake and it can be just sliced and served.

But, try it Scottish style slathered with vegan butter (or my easy maple syrup butter).

You will not regret it.

I've also heard it's a thing down in England to serve fruit cake with a slice of cheddar, so you could try that too with a slice of vegan cheddar.

I'm not sure of that serving suggestion myself.

You could also serve it with a dollop of vegan whipped cream or squirty cream.

It's also a rather delicious treat to add to lunchboxes.

Have you visited my lunch blog The Vegan Lunchbox recently?



Make it fruit cake pudding



If you were at a school like mine, then you would remember at lunchtime for pudding they served custard over everything.

Doughnuts, sponge cake, chocolate cake, fruit crumble, gingerbread and muffins were all warmed up and smothered with yellow custard.

This spiced fruit cake could also be served as pudding.

Warm it and serve it with custard, cream or ice cream.

Us Brits (and Scots) love our puddings!



How long can you store vegan fruit cake?



Once cool, wrap it well in baking paper and store it in a cake tin (with a tight-fitting lid) or in an airtight container for about a week.

It's moist, so it won't dry out.

However, it probably won't last that long.

Two days is about as long as a moist fruit loaf lasts in my house as well all love it.


Can you freeze fruit loaf cake?



Yes, vegan fruit loaf cake can be frozen.

It's best frozen in slices, separated by freezer-friendly baking paper in a freezer bag or tub.

Take out what you need and leave it in the fridge to defrost overnight or for a few hours.



vegan loaf cakes.

Love loaf cakes?



If you love vegan loaf cakes, then I have just the cakes for you.

All super easy to make and utterly delicious.

Light and fluffy are the keywords for my cakes, I think I can say that without being too boastful.

Try one of my favourite cakes, a jaffa orange cake, then there is my cherry bakewell cake, which is rather special, my berrilicious blueberry lemon cake or for a more traditional cake try this vegan carrot cake and finally, you have to try my coconut lime cake.

You will find all my vegan loaf cakes in one place, bookmark Easy Vegan Loaf Cake Recipes.


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How to make Moist Vegan Fruit Cake


A step-by-step photo guide followed by a full printable recipe. I hope you enjoy this soft and spicy boiled fruit cake.


Making Vegan Fruit Cake  - Step 1 - melting butter, treacle and spices in a pot
Step 1
  • Line a loaf tin and set aside,
  • Add the butter, milk, treacle and spices to a pot and heat gently to melt together, stirring to help combine.
    • full printable recipe below

Making vegan fruit cake - step 2 - fruit added and boiled

Step 2

  • Now add the fruit to the treacly mixture and bring it to a boil.
  • Once it's boiling, let it boil for a minute or two then turn off the heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool further until just warm or even cold.
  • Preheat the oven.
  • Add the apple sauce, flour and sugar to the mixing bowl.

Making vegan fruit cake - step 3 - cake batter mixed and baked.

Step 3

  • Add the salt and raising agent.
  • Mix the fruit cake batter together until combined.
  • Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake.
  • Once baked, cool, then slice and enjoy!





vegan fruit cake, vegan fruit loaf, vegan boiled fruit cake, dairy-free fruit cake, egg-free fruit cake, easy vegan fruit cake, fruit cake, vegan Christmas cake, vegan cake, vegan loaf cake
dessert
British, vegan
Yield: 8 - 10 slices
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Moist Vegan Fruit Cake (Boiled Fruit Cake)

Moist Vegan Fruit Cake (Boiled Fruit Cake)

A wonderfully moist vegan fruit cake that's super easy to make and full of plump fruit and warming Christmas spices, perfect for afternoon tea.
Prep time: 25 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 25 M

Ingredients

  • 200ml (0.8 cups) oat milk (or your preferred milk)
  • 125g (1 stick & 2 teaspoons) vegan butter (or spread/marg)
  • 3 tablespoons treacle (or molasses)
  • 300g (11 oz) mixed dried fruit
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice (see notes for alternatives)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 225g (1.8 cups) plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 200g (1 cup) brown sugar (or demerara sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 80g (1/3 cup) apple sauce

Instructions

  1. Line a 2 lb (900g) loaf tin and set aside.
  2. Add the butter, milk, treacle and spices (not the salt) to a pot and heat gently to melt together, stirring to help combine.
  3. Now add the fruit to the treacly mixture and bring it to a boil.
  4. Once it's boiling, let it boil for a minute or two then turn off the heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool further until just warm or even cold.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180c / 160c fan / 350f / gas mark 4.
  7. Add the apple sauce, flour, and sugar to the mixing bowl.
  8. Then add the salt and baking powder.
  9. Mix the fruit cake batter together until just combined.
  10. Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes in the middle of the oven.
  11. Use a skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake to see if it's done. If there is batter in it, it needs longer.
  12. If it starts browning, towards the end of the baking time, you can cover it with foil.
  13. Once baked leave to cool in the tin for 10 -15 minutes, then carefully remove and continue cooling on a baking rack.
  14. Slice, slather with butter (optional) and enjoy!

Notes

  • Mixed spice - Instead of mixed spice you can use pumpkin spice.
  • Treacle - If you don't have treacle you could use molasses, golden syrup would result in a golden cake but less richness.
  • Storing - Once cool, wrap it well in baking paper and store it in a cake tin (with a tight-fitting lid) or in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Freezing cake - It's best frozen in slices, separated by freezer-friendly baking paper in a freezer bag or tub.
  • Defrosting - Take out what you need and leave it in the fridge to defrost overnight or for a few hours.

Calories

8 slices = 361 calories per slice

9 slices = 321 calories per slice

10 slices = 289 calories per slice

Nutrition Facts

Calories

288.66

Fat (grams)

3.42 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.97 g

Carbs (grams)

62.55 g

Fiber (grams)

4.39 g

Net carbs

58.16 g

Sugar (grams)

36.18 g

Protein (grams)

4.13 g

Sodium (milligrams)

232.62 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

0 mg

27 comments

  1. It looks well worth the wait. Thanks for sharing it. (Sam B)

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  2. Another wondrous recipe. I know what I will be buying ingredients for on my shopping trip tomorrow. Jill x

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    Replies
    1. Oh yay! I am so glad you are going to try it Jill. I hope you love this fruit cake asuch as we do.

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    2. It was glorious. I am going to make another one this weekend to take to my mother. Jill x

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  3. printed out the recipe to give to the wife. she is much better at baking an has promised me a fruit cake,

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    Replies
    1. Oh well then lucky you. I hope you both enjoy the cake.

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  4. That looks like one rocking cake. Canna wait to try it.

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  5. You are tormenting me here! I have to make this.

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  6. I made this for my niece who is vegan. She really enjoyed it!

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  7. Love that you took a classic recipe like this and made it vegan! :) Wish I had a slice right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, and yes it was a bit of work, but I am super pleased with it. You'd never know.

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  8. Love this vegan fruit cake. So delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes it's very tasty and so easy. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  9. Love this recipe and can't wait to make it again this holiday season!

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    Replies
    1. Yay! I am so pleased you enjoyed it and yes it would be great for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

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  10. Made a double batch to use up some leftover dried fruit that’s been taking up space since I made the Christmas cake last year. I added a bit of almond extract as my butter had been in the fridge a bit too long… Delicious! This may replace my standard Christmas cake is future! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Oh fabulous! I am so glad you loved it. I'm going to make it at Christmas too. It's much nicer than heavy Christmas cake.

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  11. An absolutely corker of a recipe! THE best fruit cake I've ever had. It's going to be my Christmas cake recipe.

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    Replies
    1. Yay! That's so good to hear. To be honest I am looking at it as my Christmas cake this year too. It's now my favourite cake.

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  12. Hi Jacqueline! I love your recipes and want to make this fruitcake. Could you please advise me how long I should bake it in small foil loaf pans? They are about 3 1/2" X 5 ". Also, how full should I fill them? I'm having to make things small, since I don't have a full size oven, only a toaster oven/air fryer. Thank you very much!

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    Replies
    1. Oh jeez I don't know, you will have to experiment. A lot less time as they are small then the air fryer bakes quicker. Try one at about 20-25 minutes and if that one doesn't work you can adjust for the other. If it sinks as it cools you need to cook it at a lower temp for longer, but it will be fine for pudding with custard ir ice cream.

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    2. Thank you so much! Great ideas in case of failure, it's always good to have a back up. But, I'm sure it will be wonderful!

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    3. It is my favourite cake. Love it!

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x