This adorable reindeer cake is great for the kids and makes for a fun alternative to the adults’ boozy Christmas pudding.
Rednosed Reindeer Cake
MAKES 1 LARGE OR SIX MINIS
This moist fruity cake made with Bonne Maman Apricot, Mirabelle Plum or Fig Conserve is crammed full of festive flavours and will make a memorable centrepiece for a beautifully laden table. Absolutely delicious, it also happens to be gluten-free and dairy-free with no compromise on taste. This cake can be fully vegan too, so it means no one has to miss out at Christmas.
400g mixed dried fruit
300ml dry cider or apple juice
225g stoned whole dates
1 tbsp mixed spice
2 tbsp Bonne Maman Apricot, Mirabelle Plum or
1 large ripe banana
Finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
120g fine polenta
2 tsp baking powder (use gluten-free baking
powder if wished)
2 large egg whites or 5 tbsp chilled aquafaba*
2 tbsp brandy or dry sherry, optional
- Put the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl and pour in 100ml of the cider or apple juice. Leave to soak overnight.
- Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, gas 4. Line an 18cm round, 10cm deep cake tin or 6 small 220g baked bean tins with baking parchment.
- Put the dates, spice, conserve and remaining 200ml cider or apple juice into a saucepan and simmer gently for 5 mins. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
- In a blender or processor, puree the date mixture with the banana. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the citrus zest, soaked dried fruit, polenta and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites or aquafaba into soft peaks and fold into the fruit mixture. Spoon into lined cake tins.
- Bake for 25-30 mins for individual cakes or 45-50 mins for a large one, covering with foil after 30 mins. A skewer pushed into the centre of the cake should come out clean when it’s cooked.
- Drizzle the brandy or sherry over the hot cake, if using, then leave to cool in the tin. The cooked cakes keep well, wrapped in clingfilm and foil, in an airtight tin for up to 3 days, or can be frozen undecorated.
- To make the Rudolph Reindeer cakes, make two large fruit cakes or 6 individual cakes.
- Sandwich the two large cakes together with extra Bonne Maman conserve.
- Roll out 300g white fondant icing and, using the cake tins as a template, cut a curving line about 3cm out from the edge of the tin.
- Brush the top of the cake/s with a little extra Bonne Maman conserve and cover the top/s with the fondant icing.
- Roll 50g red fondant icing into one large or 6 small red ‘noses’ and press onto the middle of the cake/s.
For the Antlers
25g unsalted butter or sunflower spread*
25g Demerara sugar
50g golden syrup or molasses
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (use gluten-free baking powder if wished) 1 tbsp beaten egg or 1 tsp milled flaxseeds soaked in 1 tbsp water for 5 mins*
125g plain flour
- To make gingerbread dough for the antlers, put the butter or spread in a bowl.
- In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, syrup and spice and bring to the boil. Add the bicarbonate of soda (it will puff up) and pour the hot mixture over the butter. Stir until the butter has melted.
- Beat in the egg or flaxseed mix and slowly blend in the flour. It will look as though there is too much flour but it will blend in.
- Knead the dough in the bowl until smooth.
- Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking parchment, to about 3mm thickness.
- Lift the rolled dough, still on its parchment and put on a baking sheet. Chill for 1 hour. Cut out the outline of 2 large or 12 small antlers. Lift off excess dough.
- Brush with extra beaten egg (if using) and bake at 170C, 150c fan, gas mark 3 until golden and crisp – approximately 7-12 mins depending on their size.
- Cool on a wire rack and when cold, tape a long wooden skewer or cocktail stick to the back of each antler with strong tape and push into the cake either side of the nose.