Gluten Free Christmas Fruit Cakes – 8 Options

Every year I add new recipe with different ingredients to the list of Christmas and other festive cakes recipes. This year it is another lighter version of the fruit cake, which I designed to several particular specifications:

  • the cake had to be light and yellow in colour
  • no spice mixes were used to let the taste of individual quality dried fruits to stand out (it might not be your favourite option, you can add any spices and flavours you like to the batter)
  • the recipe had to be suitable for baking not only in round tins with a hole in the middle, but in a regular narrow bread loaf tins
  • baked cake had to be of a sound structure and not overly crumbly, without the addition of any thickeners
  • no starches in the dough
  • reduced fat and increased protein content in the cake batter
  • reduced sugar (for us) with the regular option for those who like their cake sweet
  • cake’s texture had to be soft and dense simultaneously, to be able to take infusion with alcohol or syrup if desired

Christmas fruit cake based on eggs, butter, ricotta cheese, almond meal and rice flour satisfies all the above requirements. It is exactly what I wanted and I am happy to present this recipe, with some advice how to bake it even better, than the cake on the photo below.


The links to all my other recipes for gluten free fruit cakes are listed at the end of the post.

The base for this recipe is our old-time favourite – gluten free sultana cake, with much more dried fruits in it. Some of the butter in the recipe is replaced by ricotta cheese and lemon juice. I also did not want to recalculate the recipe for a smaller cake, to be baked in a loaf shape, and left the recipe as it was for a large round Bundt type cake. The ingredients in the recipe will allow to bake large round cake, or 2 loaf cakes.


I baked 2 loaf cakes from the ingredients in the recipe – one in 25cm x 9cm tin and another in 20cm x 10cm tin. I always fill loaf tins for gluten free fruit cakes not more than 2/3 of the height of the tin. This allows raising cake to be still protected by the tin, and the top of the cake to avoid the unnecessary exposure to too much heat.


The larger cake I dusted with icing sugar. White chocolate icing was applied on the smaller cake, which was used as a present.




Ricotta Fruit cake

  • 3 large eggs
  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 100g dense Ricotta cheese
  • 20g lemon juice
  • 2 heaped tea spoons lemon zest
  • 1 tea spoon of vanilla extract

dry ingredients

  • 100g rice flour (I used Well and Good white rice flour)
  • 1/2 tea spoon rice flour to dust dried fruits
  • 150g almond meal
  • 150g regular sugar (I used 120g sugar)
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 6g baking powder

dried fruits

  • 200g sultanas/raisins
  • 200g soft dried apricots
  • 100g dried sour cherries
  • 200g mixed peel


  • dry mixed peel of extra moisture on a paper towel
  • cut dried apricots in medium size pieces
  • rinse sultanas under hot water, than cold water, dry them on paper towel, rinsing dried fruit, were applicable, will help to keep the light yellow colour of the cake, if using cinnamon or other dark spice mixes, this step is not necessary, be aware that soaking dried fruits in sweet alcohol or fruit juices will darken the colour of the cake
  • mix all dried fruits in a bowl (bowl 1), add half a tea spoon of rice flour, cover with another, smaller bowl and shake well to dust all dried fruit surfaces to make it easier to have them spread evenly in the thick batter, set aside
  • beat egg with half sugar until pale and triple in volume (bowl 2)
  • cream butter with another half of the sugar and vanilla sugar (bowl 3)
  • add lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest to ricotta cheese, mix to make thick paste, add 2-3 table spoons of beaten eggs, mix into the thick paste to make it more runny and homogeneous (bowl 4)
  •  add ricotta cheese mix to creamed butter, mix until combined
  • add beaten eggs, mix all ingredients together until fully combined
  • mix well rice flour with sifted almond meal and baking powder, I put the mix of dry ingredients through the sieve again (bowl 5)
  • add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix well with spatula
  • add the mix of dried fruits and mixed peel
  • combine all ingredients well, make sure that dried fruits are spread evenly in the batter
  • spoon the batter into greased or lined baking tins, push the batter down to make sure there are no empty cavities
  • the best way to bake loaf cakes from this batter is to bake them in lined tins in fan forced oven (I baked in greased tins using baking regime without the fan, that is why the sides and the bottom of the cake look darker, compared to the middle and top crust of the cake)


  • baking regime – the first 20 minutes in preheated to 170C fan forced oven, after that reduce the temperature to 150-160 fan forced (depending on your individual oven) and bake another 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of the cake
  • let the cake rest in the tin for 10 minutes
  • take it out of the tin and rest on a wire rack until cool
  • transfer the cake to a tin with a lid and store at room temperatures
  • if desired apply alcohol or citron syrup several times in small portions


I cut my cake after 4 days storage.




Recipes for other gluten free fruit cakes.

Fruit cake


Sultanas and Inca berries cake


Light Christmas cake


Sultana cake


Sultana loaf cake – dairy free


Sultana loaf cake dairy and gums free


Buckwheat loaf cake with dried apricots and walnuts – dairy free 


For grain, dairy and sugar free Christmas baking go to my e-cooking blog.


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