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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegan Fruit Cake

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This vegan fruit cake recipe is a healthy and delicious spin on a classic holiday season dessert. Made with your favorite blend of dried fruit, this egg- and dairy-free sweet loaf is cozy, moist, and nostalgically delicious.

easy healthy vegan fruit cake recipe sliced on parchment paper

Made with vegan butter, plant-based milk, and chia seed eggs, this healthy vegan fruit cake is an allergy-friendly version of a beloved traditional Christmas cake.

Just as sweet, moist, dense, and flavorful as the original, this spiced vegan fruit cake is a perfect treat to enjoy during the holidays or any special occasion.

This sweet loaf’s deep brown color is broken up by bright, juicy chunks of dried grapes, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, and apples. Each bite of this scrumptious cake is packed with comforting fruity flavors!

Latest Recipe Video!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Naturally dairy free and egg-free 
  • Can easily be made gluten-free
  • Perfect treat for the holidays
  • Sweet, moist, dense, healthy, and perfectly spiced
  • Traditional Christmas recipe turned vegan
  • Great for special occasions or any time of the year
  • Best Easy Vegan Fruit Cake ever!

🥘 Ingredients

ingredients for easy healthy vegan fruit cake recipe - christmas fruit loaf
  • Dried Fruit: I use a mixture of raisins, currants, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, and dried apples. You can use any dried fruit you like. Feel free to add in some nuts as well – walnuts and pecans work really well!
  • Whole Wheat Flour: Adds a subtle nuttiness and more whole grains. Plain flour will also work. 
  • Melted Coconut Oil: A rich, dairy-free substitute for regular butter. Vegan butter or vegetable oil would also work. 
  • Plant-Based Milk: Unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, and soy milk all work well in this recipe. I used almond milk.
  • Chia Seed Eggs: A gelatinous mixture made by combining 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 4 tablespoons of water. Acts as a binding agent and a plant-based egg replacer. 
  • Light Brown Sugar: Keeps your cake moist and sweet.
  • Cinnamon: Because who doesn’t love a dash of this festive spice. You can also add a little bit of ground nutmeg or even pumpkin pie spice to this recipe.

📖 Variations

You can easily tweak the main flavors of your egg free fruit cake by changing what fruit mixture and spice mix you include in your batter. You can also totally make this egg and dairy-free cake gluten free too! 

  • Vegan Mango Cake: Simply use dried mango chunks instead of a berry and cherry mixture.
  • Vegan Passionfruit Cake: Try swirling a passionfruit purée throughout your fruit loaf before baking. For extra tropical goodness, toss in some shredded coconut, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and candied fruit like pineapple.
  • Vegan Plum Cake: Use dried plums (prunes) soaked in a mixture of orange juice and orange zest to create this tart and tangy vegan Christmas cake. 
  • Rum Cake: For more decadence, you can soak the dried fruit in alcohol overnight – rum or brandy will both work well.
  • Gluten Free Vegan Fruit Cake: Make this Christmas cake recipe gluten-friendly by swapping out the whole wheat flour for oat flour, ground almonds, or your favorite gluten-free flour mixture.

🔪 Instructions

Preheat Oven, Mix Wet Ingredients: Preheat the oven to 325ºF. In a large bowl combine your plant-based milk, vegan butter (or oil), sugar and chia seed eggs. Mix until smooth. You can use a stand mixer but it’s not necessary – a simple mixing bowl and whisk will work!

Mix Dry Ingredients: Gently whisk in your dry ingredients (the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon) until all ingredients are just combined. 

dry ingredients combined in a bowl

Fold in your dried fruit: Now would be the time to add in a few walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds if desired. Don’t overmix or your cake will end up being too tough.

wet and dry ingredients mixed together in a bowl

Bake: Transfer your vegan fruit cake batter into a loaf tin lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. I used a 13×5 inch loaf pan. Bake in a 325°F oven for 80-90 minutes or until golden brown. 

batter in a loaf pan

Let Cool: For best results, let it cool down for 15-20 minutes in the loaf pan and then remove and let it cool down completely on a wire rack.

easy healthy vegan fruit cake recipe on parchment paper

Serve: Once your vegan Christmas fruit cake has cooled, feel free to slice, serve and enjoy!

easy healthy vegan fruit cake recipe sliced on parchment paper

❓Recipe FAQs

What can I use instead of eggs in a fruit cake?

This recipe calls for you to use chia seed eggs in place of regular eggs. However, you can also use flax eggs or an additional ½ cup of plant-based milk instead. I have a whole post on vegan egg substitutes that you can check out here

How do you keep fruit cake moist?

The best way to keep your cake moist is to soak your dry fruit prior to baking. You can soak your fruit in water, fruit juice, or (if you like a boozy vegan fruit cake) in brandy or rum. Soaked dried fruits will be partially rehydrated, keeping your vegan fruit loaf moist and flavorful.

Is fruitcake healthy?

The traditional way to make fruit cake isn’t that healthy – it’s packed with sugar and carbs, and is meant to be more of a holiday treat than something healthy to enjoy regularly.

But we made a few swaps to this fruitcake recipe to keep all of the deliciousness of the original version, but make it much healthier for you! Here are some of the changes we made to this healthy fruit cake:

1) No marzipan: Christmas fruit cake is usually covered in some sort of jam and then a layer of marzipan, but you actually don’t need it to enjoy a sweet loaf cake!

2) Less sugar: Each huge slice has only 6 grams of added sugar (the rest comes from the fruit), which is less than your average holiday cake!

3) Whole wheat flour: Instead of all purpose flour, for more fiber and healthy whole grains.

How Do You Store This Vegan Sweet Loaf?

This fruitcake can be stored in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Alternatively, you can pop your container of leftover cake in the fridge where it will stay good for up to two weeks.
In the freezer, well-sealed vegan fruitcake will stay good for up to 6 months. 

stacked slices of easy healthy vegan fruit cake recipe

👨‍👩‍👧 How To Serve

I love pairing this vegan version of a traditional Christmas fruit cake with other classic and comforting holiday desserts. Try serving this moist and dense cake alongside my healthy pumpkin pie, cherry crumb pie, vegan snickerdoodles dipped in chocolate, and a piping hot mug of healthy hot chocolate with cinnamon

💭 Expert Tips

  • Be sure to chop your dry fruits before adding them to your batter. The larger the fruit chunks, the more likely they are to all settle near the bottom of your cake. 
  • Try baking your cake batter in 3 or 4 mini loaf pans and give away miniature vegan fruit cakes as festive gifts! If you make mini cakes, you’ll need to adjust the baking time down.
  • Stick to using 300 grams of dried fruit in this recipe. Add any more and your cake will become too dense and tough.
  • Be sure your eggless fruit cake is done baking by sticking a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, you can take your cake out of the oven. 

🍰 More Vegan Dessert Recipes!

slice of easy healthy vegan fruit cake recipe sliced on a plate

If you have tried this recipe, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

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📋 Recipe Card

easy healthy vegan fruit cake recipe sliced on parchment paper
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5 from 6 votes

Easy Vegan Fruit Cake

This vegan fruit cake recipe is a healthy and delicious spin on a classic holiday season dessert. Made with your favorite blend of dried fruit, this egg- and dairy-free sweet loaf is cozy, moist, and nostalgically delicious.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Baking, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 255kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1⅓ cup Dried fruit (I used raisins, currants, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried apples) (300 grams)
  • ¾ cup Melted vegetable oil / vegan butter / coconut oil (150 ml)
  • 2 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or any plant-based milk (250 ml)
  • ½ cup soft light brown sugar, unpacked (100 g)
  • cup whole wheat or all purpose flour (250 g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Equipment

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF or 160ºC and line the loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl add milk, oil, sugar, chia eggs (chia seeds + water) and mix until smooth and combined.
  • Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon. Mix until combined.
  • Fold in all the dried and chopped almonds. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 80-90 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean and the loaf is golden brown on top. You might need to bake the loaf longer depending on your oven. For the best result try the fruit cake with a toothpick.
  • Let it cool down for 15-20 minutes in the loaf pan and then remove and let it cool down completely.
  • Slice and enjoy. Fruit cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Video

https://youtu.be/e-EniZOSLAQ

Notes

  • This recipe can be made with any type of dried fruit. I used raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried apples. You can also use a pre-made mix. Stick to 300 grams of dried fruit in this recipe.
  • For more decadence, you can soak the dried fruit in rum or brandy overnight.
  • If you do not have chia seeds you can swap for flax seeds egg or add ½ cup of milk instead of chia seeds.
  • Be sure to chop your dry fruits before adding them to your batter. The larger the fruit chunks, the more likely they are to all settle near the bottom of your cake. 
  • Try baking your cake batter in 3 or 4 mini loaf pans and give away miniature vegan fruit cakes as festive gifts! If you make mini cakes, you’ll need to adjust the baking time down.
  • Be sure your eggless fruit cake is done baking by sticking a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, you can take your cake out of the oven. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g

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Indulge your sweet tooth with some of my lightened-up treats. From gluten-free brownies to fruity crumbles, there’s something for everyone.

Be sure to check out holiday favorites like my healthy pumpkin pie!

8 responses to “Vegan Fruit Cake”

  1. It’s so nice to have a lighter alternative to this classic. I honestly can’t believe it’s vegan and dairy free!5 stars

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