On the hunt for an easy peasy gluten-free Christmas cake recipe?

Left it until the last minute but still want to make a homemade Christmas cake instead of resorting to a shop bought one? Then you’ve come to the right place!

gluten-free Christmas cake recipe

With Misery Guts following a gluten-free Paleo diet and me doing my best to clean up my own act I’ve been making a gluten-free Christmas cake for the last few years.

Finding a decent recipe was harder than I thought, but I finally found a great one by adapting a classic so I thought I’d share it for anyone else looking for a free-from option.

I simply took ever-dependable Delia Smith’s classic Christmas cake recipe and substituted the flour for ground almonds and a teeny weeny bit of gluten-free plain flour. She also uses chopped almonds, so fearing almond overload I opted for chopped pistachios instead. Here’s how to do it.

Easy peasy gluten-free Christmas cake recipe

For the pre-soaking:

450g currants

175g sultanas

175g raisins

50g chopped glace cherries

50g mixed chopped candid peel

100ml brandy

For the cake:

185g ground almonds

40g gluten-free plain flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground mixed spice

225g dark brown soft sugar (I used Molasses)

4 large eggs

1 dessertspoon black treacle

225g spreadable butter

50g chopped pistachios

Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange


1. Soak the dried fruit in the brandy for a minimum of 12 hours, preferably overnight.

gluten-free Christmas cake recipe

2. When you’re ready to make the cake, preheat the oven to 140/gas mark 1 and prepare your tin by greasing and lining it with baking paper.

3. Whizz all the cake ingredients, excluding the pistachios and lemon and orange zest, in a mixer until smooth and fluffy.

4. Fold in the pre-soaked fruit, pistachios and lemon and orange zest and transfer to the prepared tin with a large spoon.

5. Spread the mixture out evenly and tie a double band of greaseproof paper around the outside of the tin (so the cake doesn’t burn).

5. For extra protection while cooking put a double square of baking paper with a hole the size of a 50 pence piece in the middle on top of the tin (not the mixture).

6. Then stick in the oven for 4 hours, and take it out when springy to touch.

gluten-free Christmas cake recipe

7. Allow to cool and store in an airtight tin until needed. Don’t forget to ‘feed’ your cake at regular intervals by piercing it with a skewer and dribbling brandy over the top. The more feeds you can manage the better, but I’ve made our cake as late as two weeks before Christmas before, and owing to the brandy feeding you’d never have known!

I’ve made this cake several times over the last few years and it’s always a hit, whether you follow a free from diet or not. Sometimes I simply decorate it with dried fruit and other times I’ve iced it – it’s entirely up to you!

gluten-free Christmas cake recipe

Happy baking!