A few christmas’ ago I made a fruit and nut Christmas pudding/cake, which was gluten free and dairy free and went perfectly with mums leftover Christmas custard. It tasted exactly like traditional Christmas fruit cake with all the nuts, dried fruits and spices. The only issue with the cake was that it was loaded with different dried fruits and not many people were too keen with the amount of dried fruits. I loved it though. Last Christmas I made a fruit free and gluten free Christmas cake to satisfy those who weren’t keen on all the dried fruit but also for those in my family who are fructose free (found here).
This Christmas I’m going back to a more traditional Christmas cake but a paleo version that contains a lot less of the dried fruits, is gluten and dairy free but still full of Christmas flavour. They’re baked as mini individual cakes and paired with a homemade paleo spiced cream, the recipe which was originally paired with a paleo Christmas pudding from Luke Hines and Scott Gooding Clean Living Series but I think will go just as well with these mini Christmas cakes. This pairing is sure to keep everyone happy.
They contain brandy like a traditional Christmas cake, but don’t worry, it’s Christmas so you won’t feel any guilt after eating these. Before boiling the dried fruit with the brandy and orange juice I allowed it all to soak together for a little while to really get that brandy flavour into the fruit and cake. You can pretty much use any dried fruit instead of goji berries (although the red adds festive colour) such as dried blueberries or cranberries or sultanas. I used fresh medjool dates as they were already sitting there in the fridge and pitted them myself, I also prefer medjool dates as they’re softer but you can buy pre pitted and chopped dried dates which saves time.
Make sure to toast the nuts before chopping them. It’s quite easy to toast them, simply heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, lay the nuts on baking paper in a tray and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes. I didn’t chop the nuts finely enough so they’re quite chunky in the batter but I’m fine with that. To save time it would have been easier to pulse them in the blender or food processor.
The cakes came out lovely. Soft and dense, reminding me of home made banana muffins. The chewy bits of dried fruit and the crunch of the nuts add good texture and overall they taste very yummy.
The spiced cream tastes very nice and the spices aren’t over powering. It’s simple and quick to make but does need a little bit of pre prep with placing the coconut cream cans into the fridge the day before you plan to make the cream and also chilling a bowl in the freezer. I’m learning to have patience when whisking cream and it’s definitely working because you can really get a nice thick cream texture with the elective beaters if you whisk long enough. If you are short on time you can always use coconut yoghurt which is already thick and simply mix in the maple syrup and mixed spice but I think the cream is nicer.
- 250g pitted dates, chopped
- 3/4 cup goji berries
- Finely grated zest and juice of one orange
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 100g butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup Brazil nuts, toasted and finely chopped
- 1 cup macadamias, toasted and finely chopped
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 4 eggs, lightly whisked
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 36 whole blanched almonds
- 2x400ml cans coconut cream, chilled in fridge day before
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper patty cases.
- Put the dates, goji berries, orange juice and zest and brandy in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Boil for two minutes, until the brandy has reduced by half and the dates have softened. Transfer to a large heat proof bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
- Add all the remaining ingredients to the date mixture in the bowl and mix well to combine. Spoon evenly into the patty cases, the mixture will sit high in the cases. Top each with three almonds, then bake for 25 minutes or until golden. When cooked a skewer inserted should come out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pan for five minutes then turn them into a wire rack. They can be served warm or cooled.
- Place a mixing bowl into the freezer to chill.
- To make the spiced cream, take the chilled bowl from the freezer and the cans of coconut cream out of the fridge. Open the cans and scoop out the thick layer of cream from the top that has separated and place into the chilled bowl. Add the maple syrup and mixed spice.
- Using an electric beater, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Keep the cream chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.
*Recipe Tested from Luke and Scott’s Clean Living series*