Mostly Raw & vegan Christmas Fruitcake

I remember the first time I tried fruit cake. I was in grade 6 and my class was having a holiday potluck. Like any child, I was curious. Fruit cake? cream cheese? maraschino cherry? that sounds fancy! Can I have a slice? I thought it would be moist and fluffy and taste like Christmas. I remember how large the piece seemed on my poor little plastic plate and how heavy the bite of fruitcake lay on my fork. I stared at it for a bit, unsure of what to expect and then brought it up to my mouth. First came the hit of dried fruit, which was all stale and bitter and didn’t taste like Christmas at all!  Next was the fruitcake itself, which was so hard I could barely get it down my throat. Literally, it just stuck there for a couple minutes while I ran around looking for water. I think it tasted like cardboard. The icing, which threw me off cupcakes forever, was the absolute worst part. So sweet it made my stomach turn and my tongue go numb. I discretely threw the rest of my piece away and went straight for the fruit platter. Real food to the rescue!

Like every elementary school trauma, my fruitcake episode was eventually forgotten. I ate fruitcake several times after that and actually loved it, the version I liked the most coming from a German market that actually used good ingredients, plenty of booze and real cream cheese. I learned that homemade fruitcake was delicious and that fruitcake, much to my delight, even came in chocolate format. I never learned to like that icing though. To this day, I’d rather do wheat-grass shots than eat the sickly white stuff.

This recipe, which I turned into a Yule Log for Christmas, is my absolute favorite version of the classic cake. It uses mostly raw ingredients (so no flour, eggs or butter) except for the toasted nuts and booze, and instead of cream cheese, it has a coconut cashew cream frosting. Nothing in the cake is unnatural and none withstanding the kirsch, which you could easily replace with fresh fruit juice, the cake is completely refined sugar free. The recipe isn’t too complicated either, is just takes a bit of time and planning and because it’s raw, you don’t even need an oven. The flavor, most importantly, is incredible – just as spicy and sweet as the German version but with much healthier ingredients. Instead of being heavy like most fruitcakes, this one is light and refreshing, perfect for after a light meal or even for breakfast.

– Make the fruit filling an hour before making the rest of the cake as the fruit and nuts need a while to properly soak absorb the kirsch

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Soaked Filling:

3/4 cup raisins and prunes

1/4 cup kirsch

2/3 cup walnuts, toasted in a pan or in the oven

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a little bowl and set aside for about an hour

Fruit cake dough:

1 cup almonds

1 cup unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup cashews

3/4 cup dates

1 orange, juiced

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp orange zest (from the juiced orange)

2 tsp coconut extract

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

2 tbsp honey (or agave)

How to:

  1. Grind the cashews, coconut and almonds in a food processor until mixture is completely ground
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until a dough forms
  3. Take a large rectangular piece of plastic wrap and place on an empty work surface
  4. Empty out the dough and using hands, spread evenly onto plastic wrap forming a square
  5. Take soaked filling and spread over complete surface of dough as you would cinnamon sugar for cinnamon buns
  6. Away from yourself, and using the plastic wrap to help, roll the dough into a log shape
  7. Cover with whipped coconut cashew cream, decorate with fruit and orange peel and chill in fridge until ready to be served

Coconut Cashew Cream Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk

3/4 cup unsalted cashews, roasted lightly

4 tbsp agave nectar

2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

1/3 cup melted coconut oil (cooled to room temp)

2 – 4 tbsp almond milk (For whipping)

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How to:

  1. Blend all but the coconut oil until smooth in a high speed blender or using an immersion blender
  2. Add the oil and blend again
  3. Chill in the fridge overnight (or in the freezer for an hour) until completely solid
  4. Scoop cashew cream into a small bowl and whip using a hand mixer until light and fluffy, adding the almond milk as you go.
  5. Use for any recipe that requires cream cheese or Chantilly cream
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