As the holiday season approaches, there’s no better way to spread joy and satisfy your sweet tooth than with a delicious slice of Vegan Christmas Cake. Bursting with festive flavours and adorned with the warmth of seasonal spices, this vegan Christmas dessert is a perfect centrepiece for your holiday celebrations. Whether you’re embracing a plant-based lifestyle or simply looking to add a delightful twist to your traditional Christmas spread, this recipe promises a moist, rich, and utterly scrumptious cake that everyone at the table will love.

INGREDIENTS – Serves 10–12

250 g (8 oz) vegan butter or coconut oil, plus extra for greasing

175 g (6 oz) soft light brown sugar

finely grated zest of 2 oranges and juice of 1

finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (reserve 1 tablespoon juice for the icing)

150 ml (1/4 pint) rum or brandy, plus extra (optional) for feeding

875 g (13/4 lb) mixed dried fruit of your choice, such as sultanas, raisins, currants, cranberries and chopped figs and apricots

100 g (31/2 oz) chopped candied peel

175 g (6 oz) plain flour

125 g (4 oz) ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground mace

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

225 g (71/2 oz) apple purée


625 g (11/4 lb) icing sugar,

plus extra for dusting

75 ml (3 fl oz) aquafaba

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons apricot jam

500 g (1 lb) vegan marzipan


Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F), Gas Mark 3.

Grease a deep 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin and line with nonstick baking paper.

Melt the vegan butter or coconut oil in a saucepan along with the brown sugar, citrus zest and juice and rum or brandy (if using). Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Add the dried fruit and candied peel to a large bowl, pour over the vegan butter/coconut oil mixture and stir well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and spices.

Mix the apple purée into the dried fruit mixture, then fold in the flour mixture until just combined.

Pour the cake batter into the lined tin, smooth the surface with a spatula and bake for 11/2 hours.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely in the tin. Once cooled, pierce holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer, drizzle over 2 tablespoons rum or brandy and let it soak in. Make sure the surface is fully dry before decorating.

When you are ready to decorate, whisk together the icing sugar, aquafaba and lemon juice in a large bowl until you have a stiff and glossy icing. Cover the bowl with clingfilm until needed.

Heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan, then brush over the top and sides of the cake.

On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan into a rough circle until about 2.5 mm (1/8 inch) thick.

Lay carefully over the cake and gently smooth it on to the top and down around the sides so that there is no air trapped inside. Neaten by smoothing over with the flat of your palm or the rolling pin and trim away any excess.

Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread over the icing in swoops and flicks to look like snow, or you can make it completely smooth. Let the icing set completely for at least a few hours before cutting.

A Very Vegan Christmas by Sam Dixon. Published by Hamlyn. Photography: Charlotte Nott-Macaire