“It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas”…. Yippeeee my favourite time of the year!! I remember as a little girl, my folks would turn Christmas into the most magical time for us, my brother and I would always decorate the tree together, and then on Christmas Eve we would go to bed early bursting with excitement. My parents would then spend the rest of the night decorating the living room from top to bottom. We would wake up in the morning to find streamers hung and twirled in colour co-ordinated pattens, twinkling lights in every corner, candles burning, loads of presents, and then before we woke, Dad would sneak through and manage to get on a record to play Christmas carols. This would just blow my little mind that Father Christmas even knew how to work our record player (yes I’m giving away my age!)
Christmas cake and puddings are hands down my best treats, well besides presents, which is why I just had to work on a cake recipe. My family utterly adore Christmas cake, and they love nothing more than a big chunk of cake, smothered with organic clotted cream and berries. I have made numerous cakes from this recipe over the last couple of years, and they work beautifully every time, super simple and easy, you really do not need to be a fancy home cook to be able to make this one. Once you have made it, I guarantee your family will go crackers for it!
UPDATE * I have since started to make this cake in a bundt tin which I bought from Lakeland and I’ve found it to work really well. The cake cooks beautifully all the way through and looks stunning once decorated with either a load of berries in the middle, a drizzle of melted chocolate or simply as is. If you don’t own a bundt tin then a simple baking tin with a loose base will work just as well.
Another reason why I prefer this tin is that it requires very little preparation. I simply spray coconut oil over and pop the batter straight in.
A top view of the new tin. if you don’t have a bunt tin, then follow the other instructions** below using a regular loose bottomed tin, either way your cake is going to be awesome!!.
**To get started, the oven needs to be preheated and the tin prepared. I use a 20cm baking tin with a loose bottom, and to be honest it is worthwhile investing in a decent baking tin that is the correct size, as it will make a huge difference to the end result. Preparing the tin is also key, it will need to be lined around the edges and the entire base.
Draw a circle on the parchment paper then cut out the base layer, I like to spray a little olive oil onto the base so that the paper will stick and not shift or roll up when I’m spooning the batter in.
It is best to use a few layers on the side panels to prevent the edges from drying out.
In a food processor, pulse together the dates, almond flour and the other dry ingredients
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, then add the grated carrot and orange zest and stir well
Spoon in the flour mixture and stir until the two mixtures are mixed properly, it will be rather dry, don’t panic it is supposed be like that…
Add the raisins, cranberries and the pecan nuts, give it a final good stir and spoon it into the prepared tin. Using the back of the spoon, gently press the mixture into all the spaces, making sure that there are no holes or spaces left uncovered.
Once baked leave to cool…or why bother, just eat it warm!
This is how Christmas day goes in my family. We start Christmas morning with coffee, tree, lights, presents and the all important cake….
Sleepy head girls arrive, and climb into the cake
A well deserved treat!
Both contentment and chaos prevail!
Merry Christmas Everyone!!
- WET INGREDIENTS
- 3 organic eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp brandy (optional)
- zest of 2 oranges (one grated fine and one course)
- 2 cups grated carrot
- DRY INGREDIENTS
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 cup organic dates
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 cup organic raisins
- 1 cup organic cranberries
- 1 cup raw pecans nuts, broken into pieces
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC
- Prepare a 20cm baking tin with baking parchment on the base and sides or a 20cm fluted cake ring
- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla and vinegar
- Stir in the orange zest and grated carrot
- In a food processor pulse the almond flour, dry ingredients and dates, until chopped and fine
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir gently
- Stir in the raisins, pecan nuts and cranberries
- Spoon the batter into the tin (will feel very dry, don't worry it is supposed too as the carrots release moisture)
- Bake for 45min, but start to check it from 40min to see if it is ready
- Press firmly in the middle of the cake to confirm it is cooked through, the density should be even throughout the cake (sides should feel the same as the centre). If it has more give in the centre then bake it for a few more minutes.
- Leave to cool properly before removing from the tin
- To decorate, wrap a festive ribbon around and decorate with fresh berries.