Christmas Fruit Cake (without butter)

Christmas cake is a “must have” to help celebrate Christmas. It is fruity and luscious with an intoxicating aroma. Here is a Fruit Cake without butter for those looking for a low fat version.


  • 375 gm mixed dried fruit (pick out the glaçe cherries)
  • 1 cup of orange juice (or 1/2 cup brandy & 1/2 cup orange juice)
  • 100 ml peanut oil
  • 50 gm brown sugar
  • 75 ml molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  •  ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon All-spice powder
  • 150 gm plain flour (leave 2 tablespoons for fruit)
  • 75 gm ground almond
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 18 pecans


  1. Place mixed fruit in a saucepan with orange juice (and brandy) and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let the fruit soak overnight.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 160ºC and line a 18 cm round baking tin with baking paper. Use double layers of baking paper and double the height of the tin.
  3. Place oil, brown sugar and molasses into a bowl and whisk until combined.
  4. Add the eggs, a little at a time, and beat until well incorporated.
  5. Add orange zest, vanilla essence, ground cinnamon and all spice and mix to combine.
  6. Add flour (leave 2 tablespoons for fruit), baling powder, baking soda and ground almond (a third at a time). Mix well with a spatula. Set aside.
  7. Sprinkle the reserved flour onto the fruit and stir into the fruit to combine.
  8. Add fruit to the cake mixture (reserve 2 tablespoons of soaked fruit for garnish) and stir in to mix well.
  9. Spoon cake mixture into baking tin and smooth the top with a spatula.
  10. Decorate the top with glaçe cherries, reserved soaked fruit and pecans.
  11. Place on the lowest rack and bake in a 160ºC pre-heated oven for 1 hour. Then at 140⁰C for 1.5 hours.
  12. Test for doneness with a skewer. It should come out clean.
  13. Let the cake cool in the tin for 20 minutes before removing.
  14. Dust with icing sugar.

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