Spiced Vegan Fruit Cake

By Jacqueline Meldrum •

Everyone loves a good fruit cake. This one has fond memories for Jac as it's based on a recipe from her childhood. Discover how she adpated it, so that vegans and those on an egg and dairy free diet can also enjoy it.

This is the only cake I ever remember my mum making, but we loved it so much we really didn’t mind

I remember the smell of the spices wafting around the house as this cake baked and the anticipation I felt. My dad and I loved it while it was still warm slathered with butter.

Who knows where the recipe came from. Probably from a long forgotten magazine from many years ago. My mum’s main recipe book is a free baking book from a well-known flour brand. Inside tried and tested recipes are scribbled down the edges of each page and when you pick the book up, you have to be extra careful as there are magazine cuttings pressed between pages.

I could never be so cavalier with a cookbook. I just couldn’t bring myself to take a pen to one. I’m not sure why I’m so precious about them, but I just couldn’t do it. Maybe her style comes from being a war baby and being brought up to make do and mend. I have notebooks all over the house for scribbling down recipes and ideas, but that probably just seems wasteful to my mum, although she never comments on it.

This recipe was scribbled down as Australian Fruit Loaf and yes, you guessed it, she bakes it in a loaf tin. In fact I usually do too, but when I started laying out everything I needed for this recipe, I realised that I didn’t have any loaf tin baking inserts and I really couldn’t be bothered to start playing about with greaseproof paper and scissors, so I baked it in a cake tin and I think it elevated the cake into something a bit more special.

I’ve veganised the cake, by using dairy-free margarine and a flax egg, but if you want to try my mum’s original fruit loaf, then use butter and 1 egg.


Spiced Vegan Fruit Cake


125g dairy free spread
235 ml water
200g brown sugar
150g raisins
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
icing sugar for dusting
125g plain flour
125g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp freshly ground flax seeds (linseeds)
3 tbsp water


  1. Mix together the flax seeds and 3 tbsp of water. Leave in the fridge to thicken for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170c/150c fan/300f/Gas Mark 2
  3. Line a 20cm cake tin.
  4. Add the dairy free spread, water, raisins, sugar and spice to a pan and bring to the boil. Set aside to cool.
  5. Once cool add the flour, baking soda and flax egg and mix well.
  6. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour. Insert a skewer, if it comes out clean, it is ready.
  7. Allow to cool in the tin for a while, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling, if you can wait that long.
  8. Dust with icing sugar.
  9. Enjoy!

For more vegan recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.


I'm lucky, all my family on both sides love fruit cake. It disappears in a flash.
28 October 2013
I love fruit cake and yours looks delicious. Half my family don't like dried fruit but I'm feeling defiant and think I'm going to make one anyway:-)
27 October 2013

Jacqueline Meldrum

Jacqueline Meldrum is a food writer and recipe developer from bonnie Scotland. As well as creating easy veggie and vegan recipes for readers of her award winning blog Tinned Tomatoes, she also writes for BabyCentre UK and Readers Digest as well as developing recipes for top UK brands.

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