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Try This Smart Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

12/14/2016 03:03 EST | Updated 12/14/2016 04:39 EST

My mom has been making this fruit cake since I was a little girl. It is moist, rich, dense, gluten-free and dairy-free!

Even though I am not a huge fruit cake person myself, make people enjoy this when I give it to them as gift! I find as I get older, I love to give people things I have MADE as opposed to more 'stuff.'

Smart Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Christmas Fruit Cake 

Yield- 1 large loaf or 2 small loafs (pending on the size you like your fruitcake)

This is where you can get creative. If you like a large fruitcake to serve at your meal- then you would use a standard loaf pan of 9" x 5" which is a 2-lb pan.

OR you can use mini loaf pans if you are going to give these as little gifts. I have even made it into fruit cake muffins!)  

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup  organic coconut oil
  • ¾ cup Sucanat or coconut sugar (also sold as coconut palm sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoons grated lemon peel ( you can just use a cheese grater and grate an organic lemon peel)
  • 3 large organic eggs, separated
  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour + 1/2 teaspoon of guar gum ( if the flour mixture doesn't have that)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dried, chopped dates
  • ¾ cup dried, chopped apricots
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup crystallized chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy OR rum (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F
  2. Line two cake pans (or one, depending on your size decision) with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment paper, you can use foil and grease the foil with butter or coconut oil.
  3. Cream organic coconut oil in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually add Sucanat/or coconut sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, lemon extract and egg YOLKS and beat until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together gluten-free all purpose flour blend, guar gum and sea salt.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture into the coconut oil mixture while beating on low. Add milk and beat until combined. Stir in half of the chopped nuts and fruits - about 2 cups.
  6. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the egg WHITES on high until stiff peaks form. Use a large spatula to gradually fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Then, gradually and gently fold in the remaining nuts and fruits.
  7. Pour half of the batter into each of the prepared pans. Use a spatula to cut into batter to remove any air bubbles and smooth the batter. Gently tamp each pan on the counter. Bake in preheated oven for about 90 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of cakes comes out clean. (If you are using small loaf pans, this time will be cut in half or if you are using muffin tins, this will take 20 minutes).
  8. Cool cakes on a rack for about one hour.

If you are giving as a gift you can tie a nice bow on it and garnish with sprigs of cedar or balsam fir branches or even top with almonds at the end or add marzipan if you like it!

What are some of the 'homemade gifts' you will be making this holiday season?

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