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Fit for any occasion The Best Gluten-Free Fruit Cake is packed with juicy sultanas, raisins, glacé cherries and mixed peel. A light sponge with a slight citrus edge that is humble enough for a simple tea time or can be easily decorated to suit a more special gathering.
Having a farmhouse style fruit cake on hand for tea breaks, serving to unexpected house guests or for family snacking feels so reassuring. It’s one of those homely cakes that can fit any occasion. A soft light sponge packed with juicy fruit and humbly decorated.
In fact you don’t really need to decorate it at all. Bare naked or with a smattering of sieved icing sugar will not detract from the this cake’s inviting nature.
Why is this Gluten-Free Fruit Cake so brilliant?
- This is a light every day fruit cake, not one of those rich spiced affairs that crops up at Christmas or wedding celebrations.
- Packed with delicious dried fruit soaked in citrus to make it extra plump and juicy.
- This is not a large cake so you won’t have it hanging round for ages. It’s enough for a few simple sittings.
- Fruit Cake freezes so well that is seems almost churlish not to bake two at a time so you can stick one in the freezer for cake emergencies.
What flour do you use to make Gluten-Free Fruit Cake?
The choice of alternative flours here really makes the cake ultra special.
- Sweet Rice Flour – This flour gives the cake a soft bouncy quality. The starchiness of sweet rice flour gives structure so the cake doesn’t crumble to pieces when you cut into it.
- Oat Flour – A light flour which has a beautiful flavour. It’s used here as well to give the cake levity and keep it from being too dense.
- Ground Almonds – okay this isn’t really a flour but the ground almonds help give the cake a beautiful moist texture and plenty of protein to hold it together. Plus a lovely nutty taste. You can substitute for almond flour. If you want more info on nut flours then visit this comprehensive guide.
How do you make Gluten-Free Fruit Cake?
- Soak glacé cherries, sultanas, raisins and mixed peel in the zest and juice of an orange and lemon for at least an hour.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined.
- Whisk sweet rice flour, oat flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt together.
- Add the flours to the batter, mix well then add the soaked fruit.
- Pour into a 6 inch x 4 inch round cake tin and bake for 2¼ hours.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Brush with warmed apricot jam and decorate with glacé fruit and nuts.
- Leaving the fruit soaking in the citrus juice for an hour allows the fruit to fully absorb the liquid. You can even leave overnight to soak.
- Make sure your butter comes to room temperature before creaming with the sugar.
- This cake uses medium eggs.
- Storing – Keep the cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freezing - You can freeze Gluten-Free Fruit Cake before you add the final brush of apricot jam. Wrap up tightly in cling film and then tin foil to avoid freezer burn. It can keep frozen for up to 2 months. To defrost remove from the freezer the night before you wish to serve it and leave wrapped up on the side to defrost. The next morning unwrap it and brush with the apricot jam as directed.
- I recommend using anodised aluminium cake tins (this recipe uses a 6 inch x 4 inch round cake tin) for baking cakes as they are inexpensive and bake a lovely even cake.
How to make this Gluten-Free Fruit Cake really special
If you really want to push the boat out then I really recommend using Homemade Glacé Cherries and Homemade Mixed Peel. They are a labour of love but the difference in flavour using homemade versions is out of this world.
Variations for Gluten-Free Fruit Cake
- You can use any dried fruit – think chopped apricots, sour cherries, cranberries, diced figs.
- Add roughly chopped almonds to the sponge as well. It adds a lovely nubby texture.
- Add diced marzipan to the cake batter for a gorgeous almondy flavour.
- Add diced stem ginger and a teaspoon of ground ginger to the cake for added warmth.
Love fruit cakes and need more recipes?
If you make The Best Gluten-Free Fruit Cake then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.
The Best Gluten-Free Fruit Cake
- 100 g glacé cherries - roughly chopped
- 100 g sultanas
- 100 g raisins
- 50 g mixed peel
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 150 g unsalted butter - room temperature
- 150 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs - medium
- 80 g sweet rice flour
- 60 g oat flour
- 30 g ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 100 g apricot jam
- extra glacé fruit and almonds for decorating
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/ gas mark 3. Line and grease a 6 inch diameter x 4 inch round cake tin.
- Soak the glacé cherries, sultanas, raisins and mixed peel in the zest and juice of the orange and lemon for at least an hour.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix in until fully combined.
- Whisk the flours, ground almonds, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl then beat into the batter.
- Add the soaked dried fruit and mix in well.
- Pour into the cake tin and place in the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes then turn the oven down to 150°C/130°C fan/gas mark 2 and bake for a further 1¾ hours.
- Remove from the oven, carefully insert the cake out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Pour the apricot jam into a small saucepan and heat until the jam is runny.
- Brush the cake all over with the apricot jam then decorate with more glacé fruit and whole almonds if you wish.
- Adapted from Eric Lanlard’s Light Fruit Cake from his book Home Bake.
- For some really special additions try using Homemade Glacé Cherries and Homemade Mixed Peel.
- Make sure the butter comes to room temperature before creaming with the sugar.
- This recipe uses medium sized eggs.
- You can substitute the ground almonds for almond flour.
- If you are intolerant to oat flour you can substitute with millet or sorghum flour. There will be a slight difference in flavour.
- Store the cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- This cake freezes really well for up to 2 months. I recommend freezing before you brush with the apricot jam.