I don’t like traditional Christmas cakes.
There, I’ve said it!
I don’t like fruit cakes. I don’t like Christmas pudding, either; the only cool thing about it is that you can set it on fire, but my, the steaming process is just tedious! I’ve done it once and I consider that enough for a lifetime.
I’d like to introduce a tradition of my own to this favourite little island of mine: an almond Christmas cake.
The only dried fruits in it are the dried cranberries. And that’s it! I consider that more than enough. It’s got lots of buttercream on it, and you can add even more if you like.
Makes one 8-inch inch cake
For the cake:
200g ground almonds
100g plain flour (or a gluten-free flour)
2 tsp baking powder
100g brown sugar
2 flax “eggs” (2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp warm water)
80g apple sauce
200ml rice or almond milk
75-100g dried cranberries
For the icing:
100g vegan margarine
200g icing sugar
a shot of whisky
50g flaked almonds
2 tbsp brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a springform cake tin.
In a small bowl combine the warm water and ground flaxseed until they start to gel, then set aside.
Cream the apple sauce, flax “eggs” and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir, slowly adding the milk to the batter. Fold in the dried cranberries. Pour the batter into the springform tin. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
In a saucepan over high heat, dissolve the brown sugar in the water until they bubble into a caramel. Toss in the flaked almonds to cover them with caramel, then spread them on a sheet of baking paper to dry. Beat the icing sugar, margarine and whisky to create the buttercream (an electric mixer comes in handy here). Refrigerate the buttercream until the cake is baked and cooled, then decorate to your own taste, or refer to the pictures above and below for inspiration.
You can easily make this cake gluten-free by substituting any gluten-free flour for the plain flour.