Lucy's Friendly Foods

Since today is ‘Stir up Sunday’, the last Sunday before Advent and the day you are supposed to make a traditional Christmas cake, this spurred me on to make a friendly version. This cake is lighter than some, but is still moist and rich with a variety of dried fruits. I’m planning on feeding it over the next few weeks (adding a tbsp of brandy or apple juice each week until it’s time to decorate) to ensure all the moisture remains for Christmas.

It is surprisingly simple to make an egg, dairy and nut-free version, and you’ll be able to ‘fool’ any guests into enjoying a cake everyone can consume together. I always find that if you tell someone the food is friendly or lacking some ingredient they think should be there, they get an ‘I’m not going to enjoy this’ attitude even if it tastes better than what they’re used to! By all means mix up the dried fruit used – I was mainly using up what I had, but it does make a fantastic combination. My girls don’t usually like dried fruit in cakes, but I’m hoping this lighter version will be more appealing!

Christmas Cake (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)



makes 1 12″ cake

  • 200g sultanas
  • 200g currants
  • 50g mixed peel, chopped
  • 100g dates, stoned and chopped
  • 2 tbsps brandy (or apple juice)
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.2 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 70g dairy-free spread
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 170g light Muscovado sugar
  • 250ml oat milk, warmed to hand hot temperature
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

– Grease and line a 2″ cake tin

– Pour the brandy/apple juice over the dried fruit and leave to steep for at least a couple of hours, or preferably overnight


– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 4

– In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon and mixed spice.

– Add the lemon zest.

– Rub in the dairy-free spread

– Stir in the sugar, and the dried fruits

– Add the bicarb to the warm milk and stir until dissolved

– Pour into the dry ingredients and mix to form a stiff dough.


– Turn into the lined cake tin and bake for 1 hour. Then turn the oven down to gas mark 3/160 degrees Centigrade and continue to bake for a further 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

– Cool on a wire rack.

– Keep wrapped in baking paper, in an airtight container until ready to decorate (if desired) just before Christmas

– For added moisture and flavour, pour 1 tbsp of apple juice or brandy onto the cake each week until ready to use.


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