Festive Special: Spiced Chestnut & Cranberry Christmas Cake

A healthy, no added sugar, gluten-free Christmas Cake…does such a thing exist that is tasty, moist and packed full of flavour? The answer is…YES! Over the past few weeks I’ve been busy in the kitchen getting my festive vibe on and creating healthy Christmas recipes for the Wheyhey blog and an exciting Train Eat Gain project. However, I wanted to share something special on my own blog, a recipe which anyone and everyone can make and enjoy, without feeling guilty!

Bursting with dried fruits, festive flavours, healthy fats and with no added refined sugars, this gluten-free cake is ideal to serve for family and friends over the Christmas season; you can decorate it how you want, but the combination of toasted coconut and extra dried fruit really finishes this masterpiece off. I’m delighted to share this with you and if you give it a go, please do tag me on Twitter and Instagram – I look forward to seeing your versions!


For the cake –

  • ⅔ cup coconut flour
  • ⅔ cup gluten-free plain flour (I used Dove’s Farm)
  • ⅓ cup ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ cup natural sweetener
  • 100g cooked, unsweetened chestnuts
  • ⅔ tin cooked, unsweetened apples
  • 1 cup almond or hazelnut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • A mixture of dried fruit and nuts: I used chopped dates, apricots, cranberries and walnuts. You could also add raisins, pecans…whatever combination you fancy!

For the decoration –

  • 1 cup dessicated unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 2-3 tbsp Sweet Freedom (or agave syrup)
  • Extra dried fruits and nuts to garnish


Get baking!

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C, grease and line a springform cake tin with greaseproof paper and coconut oil.
  2. Put the flours, spices, ground almonds, baking powder and sweetener in a large bowl. Mix in the dried fruits and nuts so coated in the flour and separated.
  3. In a blender, put the chestnuts, cooked apples, eggs, half the milk and extracts then blend well until smooth. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix well, being careful not to over-mix. You may need to add some or all of the remaining milk, so you have a smooth mixture – not too runny or too thick.
  4. Pour into your prepared cake tin and place on a baking tray. Bake for about an hour – you may need to cover it half way through so it doesn’t burn – until golden and cooked through. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
  5. For the topping, in a small bowl mix the Sweet Freedom with coconut, ground almonds and vanilla, so you have a sticky mixture. Keep until needed.
  6. Remove the cake from the tin, peel off the greaseproof paper and turn out onto a plate. Spoon the coconut mixture on top around the side, then scatter some dried fruits and nuts in the middle. Now you’re ready to slice and enjoy! Serves about 10.