Cheat’s Fruit Cake

Many years ago a work colleague shared with me a 3 ingredient fruit cake.  It was the perfect cake for me, as I never really liked the brandy in fruit cake.  It’s just not my thing.  So, again, thank you for sharing!

I have lost count of the attempts I have made in trying to covert the recipe to gluten free.  I have made it each year but not very well til now.  I resolved that I couldn’t get it to the right texture without adding more ingredients.

I have called it a cheat’s fruit cake as the fruit only needs to soak for as little as 2 hours to overnight, then you bake the cake then once cooled ice it.

I have chosen lemon icing as my mum said she always had fruit cake with lemon icing.  So sticking to the ‘cheat’s’ theme lemon icing is perfect.  It also tastes great with the fruit cake.  But, if you like your fruit cake plain then it’s equally delicious without icing.

Other than the icing sugar and the sugar from the dried fruit there is no added sugar, no dairy, no eggs, no corn, no nuts, and if your like me and use organic sulphite free dried fruit then no preservatives.

Cheat’s Fruit Cake

Cheat's Fruit Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 250g Currants*
  • 150g Sultanas*
  • 150g Raisins*
  • 120g Cranberries*
  • 80g Apricots*
  • ⅓ cup Raw Cacao
  • 700ml Almond/Coconut Blended Milk
  • 2 cups Gluten Free Flour**
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Small Pinch Himalayan Rock Salt
  1. Position oven tray to the lowest rack.
  2. Preheat oven to 150°C on fan bake.
  3. Put dried fruit, raw cacao and almond/coconut milk in a large bowl. Stir with a spoon til the raw cacao has blended. Cover with cling wrap and leave for 2-4 hours**.
  4. Line a square tin with greaseproof paper or oil/butter and flour.
  5. Sift flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder and Himalayan rock salt.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix with a spoon.
  7. Pour mix into prepared tin.
  8. Bake for 2 hours. Cool completely before icing.
* I buy and use organic unsulphured dried fruit, which I source from my local IGA or organic food shop.
** Check out my own blended versions. I like to use a sweet sorghum mixed flour. You can find my flour recipes by clicking here. However you can use any other self raising gluten free flour.
*** I usually do 4 hours, but if I don't have time I leave it for 2 hours.

Lemon icing is so easy and tastes amazing.  As there is no fruit peel in the cake it gives it that little zing.  I’ve included it as a separate recipe as you might want to use it to top off other cakes, fruit loaves, muffins, slices and biscuits.  I’ve tried them all!

Lemon Icing

Lemon Icing
Prep time
Total time
This icing should be thick so it will be hard to mix with a spoon, as you don't want it too runny.
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 2 cups Pure Icing Sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice*
  • Zest from ¼ of a Lemon
  1. Sift icing sugar into a bowl.
  2. Add lemon zest and lemon juice then mix til combined.
  3. Cover the top of the fruit cake and spread evenly.
* Start with 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice then add a little more if needed of the 2nd Tablespoon of Lemon Juice til you have the right consistency. The icing should be white and thick so it won't run.
* If it's too runny, add more icing sugar.


I hope you enjoy making and eating this cake.

For the holiday season, you can garnish with some dried fruit, nuts or even Christmas decorations.  I suggest you make the cake as late as possible, as remember it does not contain alcohol so it won’t keep like other fruit cakes.  My nana used to her fruit cake and pour a little brandy over the top, then on Christmas Eve she would make this lemon icing and ice her Christmas cake.  Now, I’m not saying you have to pour brandy on it, as I personally don’t like it, but I am saying you should make it as late as possible, and ice it Christmas Eve or if you have time the morning of Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas, and happy baking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *