Ginger Christmas Cake

Get your spoons ready, it’s time for ‘stir up Sunday’!

Fruit cakes are surprisingly easy to make dairy and egg-free and I guarantee the resulting cake will be hoovered up in no time. Last year we left a whole cake (only uneaten due the overkill of other options) with the in-laws and it had completely disappeared two days later! That’s pretty good going for a large fruit cake. 😉

Every year I seem to make multiple types of Christmas cakes to please the various factions of the family (and because I enjoy it): some like chocolate yule log, some like gingerbread biscuits and some love a slice of fruit cake. I’ve never been overly keen on fruit cake myself but my Christmas cake recipe has won me over – it’s fruit heavy but also light and delicate, the kind of fruit cake where you could almost have another slice.

This year I felt like making a change to my usual traditional Christmas cake and had the idea of combining a family favourite of ginger cake taste with a fruit cake base. It turns out it’s a genius combination; who could resist the spicy warming heat of ginger with the comforting hug of a traditional Christmas cake? The ginger is added in three ways for different dimensions and interest: crystallised ginger chunks, plenty of ground ginger and then a regular feeding of ginger wine for added oomph.

Let the Christmas preparations begin 🙂

Ginger Christmas Cake

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

makes 1 12″ cake

200g sultanas

200g currants

50g crystallised ginger, chopped

100g dates, stoned and chopped

2 tbsps brandy (or ginger wine or apple juice)

350g plain flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp mixed spice

pinch of salt

70g dairy-free margarine

zest of 1 lemon

170g light Muscovado sugar

250ml dairy-free milk, warmed to hand hot temperature

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  1. Grease and line a 12″ cake tin
  2. Pour the brandy/apple juice over the dried fruit and leave to steep for at least a couple of hours, or preferably overnight
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 4
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, ginger and mixed spice. Add the lemon zest.
  5. Rub in the dairy-free margarine and then stir in the sugar, and the dried fruits.
  6. Add the bicarb to the warm milk and stir until dissolved. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix to form a stiff dough.
  7. 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 20-30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. Keep wrapped in baking paper, in an airtight container until ready to decorate (if desired) just before Christmas
  9. For added moisture and flavour, pour 1 tbsp of ginger wine (or apple juice or brandy) onto the cake each week until ready to use.

Ginger Muffins

dairy-free gingerbread muffins

It’s essential to have a few muffin recipes in your repertoire, not only to let you whip up a quick snack in minutes, but also as a fancy, exciting breakfast option. I also find they’re a great option to make when you have unexpected guests as they as they’re the complete package – no need to wait for them to cool and then finish them off, they’re ready to serve almost straight out of the oven.

My girls always opt for chocolate based recipes so I’ve been attempting to steer them towards other flavours, to persuade them that just maybe, chocolate isn’t always best (only maybe that is!).

ginger muffins, no egg, no dairy

 

These ginger muffins are feather-light with a sweet warming ginger aroma – not dark and sticky like traditional gingerbread, more like a lighter fluffier cousin, but nonetheless delicious and tempting. In fact they’re so moreish I ate two in a row…

Gingerbread Muffins

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

egg-free ginger muffins

Makes 12

2/3 cup soft brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

2 cups plain flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 or 2 tsp ground ginger, depending on taste

1/2 cup dairy free margarine, melted

2/3 cup dairy free milk

2/3 cup dairy free yogurt

1/3 cup golden or maple syrup.

2 tsp Demerara sugar for sprinkling on top

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade
  2. Line a muffin tray with paper liners
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients
  4. Stir in the wet ingredients until the dough is just combined and no lumps of raw flour remain
  5. 2/3rds fill each muffin case, sprinkle with Demerara and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. If desired, drizzle with water icing when cool.
  8. These muffins keep well for 4-5 days.

ginger muffins, no egg, no dairy

vegan ginger muffins

Ginger Cupcakes

This recent cold snap has made me think of warming spices and anything comforting and cosy. Ginger is one such spice, and I’m always looking for a new twist to a cupcake. I quite like the addition of crystalized ginger pieces but the girls found them too hot and spicy, so next time I might leave them out.

Ginger Cupcakes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 24

  • 2 cups oat milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • (optional) 1/4 cup crystallised ginger, finely diced

– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

– Line 2 cupcake trays with liners

– Add the lemon to the oat milk and set aside

– Sieve the flour, ginger, bicarb and baking powder into a large bowl.

– Stir in the sugar.

– Add the oil and syrup to the oat milk and mix well.

– Pour into the flour mix and bring together to a smooth dough with no lumps of raw flour remaining.

– 2/3 rds fill each cupcake liner.

– Bake for about 20 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.

– Cool on a wire rack before icing with vanilla buttercream.

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Vanilla Buttercream (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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enough to ice 24 cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup vegetable fat (such as Trex)
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free spread (such as Pure)
  • 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup oat milk

– Whisk together the spread and vegetable fat.

– Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time with a splash of the oat milk, until fully combined and nice and fluffy.

– Pipe or spread onto the cupcakes.

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Lemon and Ginger Wafers

These crisp lemon and ginger wafers are a tried and tested pairing of flavours. The ginger gives a subtle spicy heat to the fresh, bright tang of lemon. Loosely based on a recipe in ‘Scandalicious Baking’ these are really rather nice with a cup of tea or coffee. Also, as an added bonus, they keep brilliantly for up to 2 weeks.

Lemon and Ginger Wafers (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes about 20 wafers

  • 1/2 cup dairy-free spread
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsps golden syrup
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

– Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 5

– Line 2 cookie sheets with baking parchment.

– Bake for 8 minutes until puffy and turning golden.

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Ginger Flapjacks

I needed a hearty, packable snack that would give a boost of energy but also warmth during this bitterly cold weather. Flapjacks seem to be the ultimate energy giver and combining them with the natural warmth of ginger keeps the chill at bay. Well, that’s the theory. The crystalized ginger gives bursts of spice while the ground ginger gives an underlying warmth. These will keep me going at work this week!

Ginger Flapjacks (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes about 24

  • 200g dairy free spread
  • 200g demerara sugar
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 400g oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt (preferably fleur de sel)
  • 50g chopped crystalised Ginger
  • 1/2- 1 tsp ground ginger, depending on taste

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade

– Line a 30×20 cm (approx.) baking tray with foil

– Melt together the dairy free spread, sugar, syrup and salt

– When the sugar has dissolved mix into the oats and ground ginger.

– Gently stir in the chopped ginger

– Spread into the lined baking tray

– Bake for 15-20 mins until golden

– Cool well before cutting into bars/squares. Or freeze whole and cut when defrosted.

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Ginger Snaps

Ginger snaps are lovely biscuits, and while McVitie’s Ginger Nuts are a great dairy, egg and nut free standby, sometimes it’s nicer to have homemade. This version doesn’t have any molasses or black treacle in, making them lighter and maybe more palatable to younger taste-buds. Add more ginger, even some other spices, to taste – these are quite light on the spice.

Ginger Snaps (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 25

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tsps ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 120g dairy-free spread, such as Pure
  • 1 cup sugar (mix of granulated and brown is nice)
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup/maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds mixed with 2 tbsps water (or 1 egg)
  • 1/3 cup demerara sugar, to coat

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

-Grease the baking sheets

– Sift together the flour, bicarb, ginger and salt.

– In a saucepan melt together the dairy-free spread, syrup, sugars and flax seed mix.

– Pour into the flour mix and stir until well combined.

– Grab tbsp sized pieces of the dough and roll into balls. Roll in the demerara sugar and place, well apart, on the baking sheets.

– Bake for 10 minutes, until they’ve puffed up and cracked a little.

– Cool briefly on the sheets, then move to a wire rack.

– Best eaten fairly fresh, but will keep for a few days.