A dairy free alternative to a traditional Christmas Cake which can be made last minute, just make the mincemeat the day before as it needs to marinate and ruminate for 24 hours before you use it. You can use a jar of shop bought mincemeat if you want to save time, the cake is full of spices a bit of brandy and all the Christmassy flavours and is perfect if you are a mince pie fan, but fancy a lighter cake version and it’s perfect with dairy free vanilla ice cream.
3 cups of plain flour (I use spelt)
1 cup of golden caster sugar
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of vegetable oil (I use mild olive) or room temperature butter
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 teaspoon of salt
Icing sugar to dust (optional)
a few tablespoons of Sherry (optional)
Filling and top
2 apples peeled cored and sliced into slim half moon shapes
2 tablespoons of golden caster sugar
1 portion of my mincemeat or a jar of good quality mincemeat
Preheat the oven to 180c/350f.
Prepare a 22 cm cake tin by laying a circle of grease proof paper in the bottom and spraying with cake release spray or brush with a little oil.
In a bowl, mix the apple slices the 2 tablespoons of golden caster sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil(or butter), eggs, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and zest until fluffy and pale.
With a spoon stir in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt until properly mixed together.
Put half the cake batter into the tin, and put half the mincemeat over the top in an even layer. Spoon the rest of the cake batter over The mincemeat. Spread the remaining mincemeat over the top of the batter gently and then place the apple half moons in a circle pattern on top in an even layer, with any juices that are left in the bowl.
Bake for about 60-70 minutes, but oven temperatures do vary. Place a loose piece of tin foil over the top of the tin after 35 minutes to stop the top going too brown. The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean from the centre. Once cooled remove from the tin and if using, poke holes in the top and dribble the Sherry into the holes, then dust with lots of icing sugar.