December has arrived and now is the time to start thinking about Christmas fare, especially if you want to soak your fruit for a week or two for the best Christmas cake ever! I found this recipe at Russell’s Health Food store in Glebe many, many years ago and it has been a favourite for my family ever since. It is a rare Christmas that passes without me making this cake. I hope you like it as much as my family does.


1kg mixed dried fruit (I use approx 143g each of dates, figs, currants, sultanas, apricots, pears, & goji berries)
Rind of 1 organic lemon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 cup brandy (optional but delicious)
125 ml apple juice
125 ml orange juice
300 g flour of your choice (I often use spelt flour or if I want gluten free I use rice flour)
4 tsp aluminium free baking powder
250 ml cold pressed olive oil
2 medium sized ripe bananas mashed
2 Tbsp unsweetened ginger marmalade
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 free range organic eggs
1 fresh grated apple, sprinkled with lemon juice
125 g slivered almonds


  1. Pre-soak the mixed dried fruit, lemon rind and half the spices in the apple juice, orange juice and brandy. I will often leave this soaking for a couple of weeks leading up to Christmas dinner. Mix it up a bit every few days
  2.  Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C
  3. Prepare a 20cm round or square cake tin with several layers of baking paper
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and remaining spices
  5. In a food processor mix the cold pressed oil, banana, marmalade and vanilla essence at high speed
  6. On low speed add the eggs one at a time
  7. Stir this mixture into the soaked fruit then fold in the grated apple
  8. Mix in the sifted flour, spices & slivered almonds, stirring thoroughly
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin
  10. Bake up to 2 hours – cover it with aluminium foil for the first hour so it doesn’t burn and then check it regularly to see when it is cooked
  11. You can sprinkle some icing sugar over it to make it look pretty or for a sugar free version try some xylitol  powdered in a blender
  12. Enjoy it with custard – here is a dairy free healthy recipe


Your feedback and questions are always welcome so please leave a comment below.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qigong and Wholefood counselling). Tania is an AHPRA registered practitioner of Chinese Medicine located in Katoomba, NSW and has spent 6 years lecturing at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Sydney campus.

The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Remember that you are responsible for your own health and safety at all times.