Are you an “I LOVE Christmas cake!” person or a “meh, I’ll eat it because it’s Christmas” type?
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I strongly believe that life’s too short for “meh” so if you fall into that latter category, this recipe’s for you.
Fruit cake is a divisive item and, quite honestly, there’s enough family tension at Christmas without debating the merits of that dense, boozy cake. That’s why I’m eschewing the traditional Crimbo cake this year for something different. This gingerbread cake is warmly festive, child friendly and uses a few ingredients you’re sure to have lying around at this time of year. The fact that it’s free from gluten, dairy and egg is just an added bonus!
Oh, and since you’ve got enough to do at this time of year, you can make this in 5 minutes in your blender.
I’m a fan of baking individual cakes and letting everyone decorate their own. No marzipan required! Crank up the Christmas tunes, mix up a big bowl of buttercream (I like Vitalite Dairy Free spread for a free from icing) and get the whole family involved.
Gingerbread Christmas Cakes (Makes 4 mini cakes)
- 130g stoned dates (about 14-16 dates)
- 200ml apple juice (for an added hit of ginger, try using Cawston Press Apple and Ginger juice)
- 4 tbsp (60ml) oil (a flavourless one, like organic rapeseed oil is a good bet)
- 1 large banana
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 150g gluten free self-raising flour mix
Preheat your oven to 180°C/355°F/Gas Mark 4 and line 4 mini cake tins (see tip below).
Add all the ingredients into a blender in the order above.
Pulse until smooth and well blended. (Or add the ingredients to a bowl and mix with a stick blender.)
Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean from the middle of the cake.
- Leave the cakes in their tins for about 5 minutes before turning them out and placing on a cooling rack until completely cold.
TOP TIP: Make in mini cake tins!
Use old 200g tins from cans of beans, tomatoes or spaghetti hoops.
Remove the labels, wash them and dry thoroughly.
If they had a ring-pull top, flip them over and use a tin opener to remove the base and let it drop into the top of the can (the rim left by the ring-pull will hold it in place).
Line them with baking paper and place on a baking tray.