Stef's adventures in craftiness

Christmas Cake, Take 1

From Look! I made it myself!

This is the first year I have adapted my great-grandmother’s/mother’s cake recipe for my vegan predilections. It has turned out lighter in texture, but not dry at all. From tastings thus far, it is successful, even with those skeptical of vegan. The biggest challenge is replacing the eggs: there were 12 in this recipe! (To make 3 cakes). I have used the vegan substitution of 2 tsbp of arrowroot flour or constarch mixed with 2 tbsp of water to replace 1 egg, as well as coconut milk. Next year I think I may try some pureed fruit as well, and maybe sunflower oil instead of the ‘butter’. The below is the recipe I used, and it made 3 cakes of around 22cm (you don’t need a set cake tin size – my mum used both large and mini). So if you divide by 3, you can make 1 cake. But given that they keep for months and are usually popular, three is best.

There is still time to make this, as it can be tasty and eaten as soon as it is cool, as well as left alone for a while which apparently improves it in flavour but I’m never that organised.

The original recipe is in pounds (that’s how old it is!), I just used those units on my scale but I have provided gram conversions. The fruit can be substituted for another, and exact measurements won’t matter either.

Stef’s Christmas Cake

1.5 pounds/680 grams of sugar
1.5 pounds/680 grams of vegan butter (I use Nuttelex, it’s made only from seed oils)
300mL (20 tbsp or approx 1 1/4 cup) of arrowroot/tapioca flour or cornflour/starch mixed with 300mL (20 tbsp) of water
120mL of coconut milk
1 pounds/455 grams of raisins
1 pound/455 grams of currants
1/2 pound/225 grams of dates
1/2 pound/225 grams of chopped figs
1/2 pound/225 grams of lemon/citrus peel (I actually used blended brandied cumquats which I had on hand)
Approx 1/4 pound/110 grams of chopped almonds (optional)
5 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp of vanilla essence or almond essence

Preheat the oven to 130 degrees C (around 170 degrees F). Line 3 tins of around 20-20cm diameter/width with baking paper. Or lay out a number of tins and see how you fill them. You want to fill the tin no more than 3/4 full, and keep an eye on the cooking times if using different sizes.

Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly until creamy. Add the arrowroot/cornstarch slurry and the coconut slowly, stirring til combined also. Mix in half of the flour, salt and soda. Mix in the fruit, essence, and almonds if using. Then add and mix the remaining flour.

Cover lightly with baking paper or foil to prevent burning and bake in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. If you’re cramming them in and your oven is uneven, you could rotate them part way through so they cook at the same rate. Regardless, some will probably cook quicker than others. The cake is cooked when an inserted knife/skewer comes out clean.

I tried to get a picture of a whole cake but it was a bit hurried and blurred as they were cutting it quicker than I expected.

From Look! I made it myself!

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