Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake is an easy cake to assemble last minute. A lightly spiced almond sponge made incredibly festive by its secret ingredient – mincemeat. Drizzled with a quick tipsy Brandy Cream Icing.

Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

It’s not that I don’t like regular Christmas Cake. I’m happy to eat a boozy fruit cake any time of the year. However, I always feel that on top of the Christmas pudding and all the mince pies, a traditional Christmas cake can sometimes be a bit too much.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice on a plate in front

This Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake is my favourite way to keep a Christmas cake in the mix whilst making it a little more accessible and not just something your great aunt is going to enjoy. Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake still has all the right flavours going on so no one is going to feel hard done by. It’s festive with spices, brandy and plump fruits. But as it is primarily a sponge cake and not a fruit cake it’s so much lighter and a bit more modern.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

It’s also incredibly quick to assemble as we’re taking a bit of a shortcut to Christmas by using mincemeat. I will always advocate homemade mincemeat in any recipe where it is required as I think the shop bought stuff is pretty terrible. All sugar and no taste. The good news is that homemade mincemeat is really easy, hopefully you have already made yours otherwise this Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake might be a slightly longer process than you initially believed. At a push, of course you can use the shop bought stuff, the cake will still be delicious.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice taken out

To make the cake even easier to bring together I used a gluten-free plain flour blend, Freee by Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour 1kg (Pack of 5)” to be exact. You can use any blend but ideally without xanthan gum. By adding an equal amount of gluten-free plain flour and ground almonds we’re ensuring the sponge stays beautifully moist with plenty of fluffiness. The ground almonds add a lovely taste and if you grind your own almonds, which I did here, so it’s more like an almond meal, then the cake will have a pleasantly nubby texture that sits really nicely with the mincemeat. My mincemeat had chopped almonds in already so there is lots of nuttiness going on.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice on a plate in front

The Brandy Cream Icing is gorgeously sweet, creamy and subtle with brandy. However, if you would rather make an icing without the booze then just omit the brandy and add in more milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice on a plate in front

If you make this Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious creation, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake is an easy cake to assemble last minute. A lightly spiced almond sponge made incredibly festive by its secret ingredient – mincemeat. Drizzled with a quick tipsy Brandy Cream Icing.
Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, christmas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
  • 275 g caster sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 180 g ground almonds
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons mixed spice
  • 280 g mincemeat
Brandy Cream Icing
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons double cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons brandy
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, christmas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
  • 275 g caster sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 180 g ground almonds
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons mixed spice
  • 280 g mincemeat
Brandy Cream Icing
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons double cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons brandy
Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  2. Line and grease a 9 inch round cake tin.
  3. Cream the sugar with the butter on a slow to medium speed for about 6 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat the eggs in one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  5. Add the vanilla extract.
  6. Whisk the flour with the almonds, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl then beat into the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Stir in the mincemeat.
  8. Pour the batter into the cake tin, smoothing out the surface then bake for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Leave for about 5 minutes for the cake to settle then carefully remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.
Brandy Cream Icing
  1. Stir the icing sugar together with the double cream until smooth.
  2. Stir in the brandy one tablespoon at a time until the icing has reached a thick dropping consistency.
  3. Spoon over the top of the cake nudging it towards the edges so it drips down the sides.
Recipe Notes

*I used a suet based mincemeat so there was a bit more fat in the mix. If you are using a non-suet mincemeat perhaps increase the butter by 20g.

SHOP THE RECIPE

If you’re a gluten-free baker in the UK then you will be very familiar with Freee by Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour 1kg (Pack of 5) as it’s pretty much the only gluten-free flour that’s easily accessible for the home baker. For this cake it works really well in combination with ground almonds for a lovely moist cake.

I didn’t have a decent 9 inch cake tin for this recipe so I invested in this PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 9 x 4-Inch Deep which is from my favourite range of cake tins. They are wonderful as they have completely straight sides so your cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need, I think I may almost have the whole set now.

I love these Kitchen Craft Paul Hollywood 2-Tier Stackable Wire Cooling Rack, 40 x 26 x 35 cm (16″ x 10″ x 14″), don’t be put off that they are part of the Paul Hollywood range as they are actually really useful as they are nice and high which allow more air to get to your cakes to cool quickly. Some cooling racks are too close to the kitchen counter which traps in more moisture as the cakes are cooling down which could lead to a wetter sponge. These are great.

I love these dinky these reindeer cake toppers-  Anniversary House Reindeer Plastic Cake Toppers. Pack of 6. BX164 – so super cute!

and I bought these trees years ago for some Christmas crafts and found they have been more useful ever since decorating my Christmas cakes – Set of 3 Snowy Bristle Xmas Trees for Christmas Cake Decotation

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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