Easy To Make Vegan Christmas Cake | Vegan Christmas Recipe

What Is A Christmas Cake?  

A traditional Christmas cake is typically a fruit cake that is covered in both marzipan and icing. A variety of fruits are used, including raisins, sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest and dried cherries. The dried fruit is often soaked in alcohol for up to 3 days and once baked, the cake is regularly ‘fed’ more alcohol on a weekly basis! The use of Marzipan in a Christmas cake is taken from Easter, when marzipan covered cakes were traditionally eaten.  

Vegan Christmas Cake: What’s The Difference?  

To make a traditional Christmas cake vegan, a substitute is needed for the eggs and butter that form the cake batter. Substitutes that work well include aquafaba, flax ‘egg’, or chia seed ‘egg’. Many recipes for Christmas cakes also suggest using royal icing which isn’t vegan. Plant-based versions can be made using aquafaba and icing sugar or alternatively, try ready-to-roll icing, as this is often vegan.  

 Vegan Christmas Cake Nutritional Information 

Serves 20 – nutritional information based on 1 serving (un-iced) 

Energy  377Kcal 
Total fat  10g 
of which saturates  2g 
Total carbohydrates  65g 
of which sugars  6g 
Protein  3g 
Fibre  1g 

Equipment You’ll Need 

  • 2 large mixing bowls  
  • Microwave proof bowl or small saucepan 
  • Greaseproof paper  
  • Weighing scales 
  • High-sided ?8-inch cake tin  
  • Wooden spoon 
  • Scissors 
  • Oven 
  • Hob or microwave  
  • Chopping board  
  • Knife 
  • Grater 


  • 1kg mixed dried fruit; this is the mainstay of the Christmas cake, and provides most of the flavour and structure to the cake 
  • 200g glace cherries (rinsed); these can be left out however rinsing the cherries gets rid of a lot of the sweetness, so it’s worth giving them a try. 
  • 100ml of vegan dark liquor OR 100ml orange juice; Whilst the feeding of the cake isn’t necessary, it is worthwhile soaking your fruit at the start of the bake as this helps to add in extra flavour.  
  • 2 medium orange (grated)s; the orange zest will be added to the mixture for extra festive spirit.
  • 2 tbsps Myvegan 100% flaxseed powder; this will help to replace the egg used in traditional recipes, acting as a binder for the ingredients.  
  • 250g vegan butter or spread; either soft spread or butter blocks will work equally well for this cake.  
  • 250g dark brown sugar; part of the colour in a fruit cake comes from the darkness of the sugar. If you can’t find dark brown, then light brown works just as well.  
  • 2 tbsps golden syrup; like the flaxseed, golden syrup acts as a binder and adds some subtle extra sweetness.  
  • 225g plain flour; unlike most cakes, fruit cakes don’t need to rise. No raising agents are needed, as much of the shape comes from the quantity of dried fruit.  
  • 50g Myvegan instant oats; this helps to add some texture to the cake and helps to absorb any of the excess liquid to prevent a soggy cake.  
  • 50ml dairy free milk – this can be used if the mixture is a bit too thick to stir! 
  • 4 tbspns water 

To decorate; one jar of apricot jam, 500g marzipan, 500g ready to roll or vegan royal icing.  

How To Make A Vegan Christmas Cake  

  1. First step is to soak the fruit. If you have plenty of time then add the mixed fruit and cherries to a large bowl, along with the dark spirit or orange juice. Cover and leave for 3 days, stirring each day. If you are short on time, then add the spirits or juice to the fruit and microwave on full power for 3 mins until everything is piping hot. Leave to cool. 
  2. When you are ready to start the bake, preheat the oven to 150 C/140 C fan/300F. Double line the sides of your cake tin with greaseproof paper – the lining needs to extend 4-5 cm above the top of the tin, to help prevent burning. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper to line the bottom of your tin and add this after lining the sides of the tin.  
  3. Make the flax egg – add your flaxseed powder to 4 tbspns of water, mix well then set aside. 
  4. Melt the vegan butter/spread – this can be done in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl. Heat at full power in 30 seconds interval until melted. Alternatively add the butter/spread to a small saucepan on medium – low heat until melted.  
  5. Add the butter/spread to a large bowl, along with the golden syrup and sugar. Stir until everything is well incorporated. Slowly add in the flour, Myvegan instant oats, orange zest, and dairy free milk. Mix thoroughly before adding the dried fruit. Make sure the dried fruit is completely covered in the cake batter – if it feels very stiff then add a splash more milk.  
  6. Once all the ingredients are well mixed, add the cake batter to your lined tin and smooth out the top. Bake for 4-4 ½ hours until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.  
  7. This can be stored in a cool dry place, wrapped in greaseproof and foil. This is ready to decorate with a layer of jam, marzipan and then icing. Alternatively, poke 5-6 small holes into the top of the cake. Once a week a teaspoon of your chosen alcohol can be poured into each hole – this is known as feeding the cake and adds an extra boozy flavour! It can be ‘fed’ for 4-5 weeks prior to decorating. 

Baking Tips  

  • 4 hours is a long time to leave something in the oven! Check your cake after 1 ½ – 2 hours, and if it’s looking a dark golden brown then cover the top of the cake with foil for the rest of the baking time. This will help to prevent burning.  
  • If you aren’t sure how to decorate a Christmas cake, traditionally a layer of melted marmalade is used to provide a sticky surface. Rolled out marzipan can be laid over the top and shaped to fit the cake. Icing of your choice can then be used to cover the marzipan.  
  • Although most spirits are vegan, please read the label carefully before purchase. Older recipes online often suggest using sherry (a type of fortified wine), but this is not always vegan.  
  • If you have an unreliable oven or only smaller cake tins, this recipe can be split into smaller cakes – a standard size loaf tin (2lb) works well for making smaller cakes. 
  • Although the list of ingredients seems quite long, don’t be put off! There is something special about making a homemade Christmas cake, and the decorating of the cakes is such a fun tradition!  


This can be stored in a cool dry place, wrapped in greaseproof and foil. Cooked correctly, it’s difficult for a fruit cake to go bad! If you are feeding your cake, make sure to distribute the feeding holes evenly to prevent a soggy centre.  

Take Home Message  

It’s possible to make Christmas cake at home and make it vegan! A few simple swaps can keep the cake plant-based, whilst the rest of the ingredients can be found in your store cupboard. Tag Myvegan and show us your best festive bakes on Instagram @myvegan 


Where is Christmas cake originally from?

The history of Christmas cake is somewhat staggered – it originally started as a porridge that people ate on Christmas eve. Along the way, fruit, spices, and sugar for extra sweetness. The addition of marzipan came along when feasting became banned however, people were still allowed to feast at Christmas. The marzipan cake coating traditionally eaten at Easter was then moved to Christmas cakes instead.  

How do you make a Christmas cake moist without alcohol?

If you aren’t a fan of alcohol in your food, soaking the fruit in orange juice will still provide moisture. Orange juice will also help provide more of a citrussy Christmas flavour! 

How long before Christmas should I make the cake?

‘Stir-up Sunday’ is usually the last Sunday before advent, approximately 5 weeks before Christmas. This is usually the time that homemade Christmas puddings and cakes are made however, this cake will last for months uniced if you want to be prepared and make it before this.  

What is a vegan substitute for eggs in a cake mix?  

In this recipe, flaxseed has been used as a replacement for eggs and works well as a binder. The addition of soy milk also helps to balance out the ratio dry to wet ingredient  

How do vegans replace butter in baking? 

There are so many varieties of plant-based butters and spreads available in the supermarket now; either harder butter-style blocks or soft spreads will work for this cake. Oil can sometimes be used in vegan baking although it doesn’t fit with this recipe.  




Rachel is a qualified Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) who holds an MSc in both Applied Human Nutrition and Physician Associate Studies. Over the last year, Rachel's been working as a freelance nutrition writer and coach, with her areas of interest including weight loss and specialist dietary requirements. As well as this, she's contributed towards published research on weight loss, and is currently studying the role of plant-based diets in health-conscious individuals.