Vegan & Gluten Free Simnel Cake

Vegan & Gluten Free Simnel Cake

By nutritional therapist Christine Bailey

Celebrating Easter can be trickier when you have food allergies. This is a delicious gluten free, vegan version of the classic Easter fruit cake. Light and fruity, this is perfect for family gatherings.

Makes 1 x 18cm cake

50g dried cranberries or other dried berries
200g mixed dried fruit
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
50ml apple juice
100g dairy free spread
100g xylitol or coconut sugar
3 tbsp pure fruit apricot jam
125g apple puree
125g gluten free plain flour
50g ground almonds
1 tbsp gluten free baking powder
500g marzipan (check labels to make sure vegan/gluten free)
To glaze, 1 tbsp apricot jam
Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2 and line a deep 18cm round cake tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl place the dried fruit, spices and apple juice and mix well. Leave to soak for 15 minutes.

In a food processor beat together the dairy free spread, xylitol or sugar with the apricot jam and apple puree until smooth and creamy. Gently mix in the flour, almonds and baking powder then stir in the fruit with the apple juice.

Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out a third of the marzipan to create a circle – slightly smaller than the cake tin.

Spoon half of the cake mixture into the cake tin then place the marzipan circle on top. Cover with the remaining mixture and transfer to the oven to bake for approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. To check the cake is cooked insert a metal skewer into the cake, it should come out clean

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool on a wire rack.

Roll out half of the remaining marzipan on a dusted surface into a circle. Brush the top of the cake with the apricot jam and stick the marzipan on top.

Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 small balls and arrange around the edge of the cake. Use a blowtorch to gently scorch the top of each ball and the middle of the cake to create the finished burnished effect.

Alternatively, if you do not have a blowtorch, preheat the grill to high and place the cake under the grill for a few seconds until the top of the marzipan is lightly golden – be careful as it can burn very quickly.

About Christine Bailey
Christine is an award-winning nutritionist, chef and author. With a passion for creating delicious nourishing recipes, Christine has a reputation for transforming people’s health and love of real food. As well as seeing clients and writing for national press, Christine runs ‘Nourish’ cookery classes including popular hands-on days for children. Christine is an inspiring nutritional chef well known for her engaging style and enthusiasm.

Christine is the author of numerous health and recipe books including ebooks on paleo eating and gluten-free recipes. Her books include her popular Supercharged Juices and Smoothies, The Juice Diet Book, The Raw Food Diet Book and Eat to Get Younger. Christine has particular specialisms in paleo diets, allergy free cooking, digestive health, coeliac disease and other autoimmune conditions, allergies, healthy ageing and weight loss.

For more information visit her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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