Gluten free, vegan 

Christmas time serves up many amazing meals and family favourite treats on the table. One of my absolute favourite childhood Christmas memories was that special moment when the Christmas cake is served up and everyone took a moment to share that first moment and mouthful together along with many “mmmmmmm”s.

Although this is a special moment that many of us cherish and hold close to our hearts, it became obvious to me that if I wanted to continue to appreciate and love this moment whole heartedly I had better come up with a Christmas cake that was full of goodness; gluten free and plant-based. So here it is!

One the big pluses is that this Christmas cake only takes an hour to make compared to hours of cooking and weeks of resting for the traditional version! Be sure to use bananas that are only “just” ripe; meaning yellow, not brown and definitely not green – just ready. This is to avoid the banana flavour coming through and letting the spices create that Christmas taste. They are really there to create the body of the cake and are great egg replacements.

I hope you enjoy this with friends, family and loved ones and have a beautiful festive holiday season!

Time: about 45 mins – 1 hour in total 

This is my personal adaptation of my favourite vegan banana cake recipes by Nettie (Om Sai Ayurveda). Be sure to check her website and social media for more Ayurvedic inspired recipes and information.

Equipment needed:

– 1 x 25 cm round baking tin lined with baking paper

– Blender or bullet

– Large mixing bowl

– An oven

– Something to boil water

– 2 x medium bowls for soaking ingredients

– Measuring jug

– Teaspoon/Tablespoon measurements

Ingredients:

For the fruit cake

5 x large “just” ripe bananas

250ml x coconut cream

125ml x extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp x vanilla paste

1 tsp x cinnamon powder

3/4 tsp x ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp x ground clove

2 tbsp x fresh grated ginger

1 tbsp x orange zest (finely chopped)

2 cups x brown rice flour (sifted)

300ml measurement x natural almond meal

1 cup x dates (roughly chopped)

1 cup x raisins

1/2 cup x dried apricots (roughly chopped)

275 ml x strong chai tea (375 ml x boiling water + 3 x chai tea bags steeped for 5 minutes)

1/2 cup x coconut sugar

A good pinch x sea salt

3/4 tbsp x bicarb

3/4 tbsp x baking powder

For the vanilla cashew sauce

1 cup x cashews

2 cups x boiling water

1 cup x coconut milk

1 tbsp x vanilla paste

1 tbsp x cacao butter (melted into liquid)

1 tbsp x coconut sugar

2 tbsp x maple syrup (or raw honey if you’d like)

How to make:

1) Firstly, prepare your cashews by soaking them in the 2 cups of boiling water and leave to cool while you begin making your cake.

2) Now, make the strong chai tea and leave it to sit for 5 minutes.

3) In a bowl, add your dried fruits and pour the chai tea over and leave to sit for 15 minutes.

4) Meanwhile, add the following ingredients: Bananas, coconut cream, olive oil, vanilla paste and other spices plus orange zest to your blender or food processor and purée, otherwise mash together in a large bowl if you don’t have a food processor.

5) Make your dry mix by sifting your rice flour, bicarb and baking power together into a large bowl, then mix in your almond meal.

6) Pour in your wet mix and fold in with a large spoon or spatula until well combined. Note: Be mindful not to over work it, the mix should just be combined without any dry spots of flour.

7) Strain off your soaking fruits and squeeze out most of the water. They should still be wet, but not dripping wet. Add them to your cake mix and stir in a little so that they are somewhat evenly mixed through.

8) Now line your baking tin or pan with baking paper and pour in your mix.

9) Bake for 15 minutes on 180 then turn the oven down to 170 for another 20 minutes.

10) While this is cooking, you can finish your vanilla cashew cream by straining off the water from your nuts and blending with the rest of the ingredients listed until smooth and has no lumps.

11) Check that your cake is done by touching the top near the middle and seeing if it has a little resistance and doesn’t stay sunken in when you push on it. You can also poke a sharp knife in and if it comes out relatively clean, then it’s ready. We want the middle to be quite moist still, but it shouldn’t stick and leave any mix on the knife at all.

12) Slice and pour over the cashew cream. Serve warm.

13) Enjoy!!!!

About the Chef

Simon Favorito: Executive Chef and Head of Wholefood Education

Simon Favorito comes from a lineage of wholefood chefs & has spent over half his life helping people to discover the magic of wholefood medicine through the culinary arts as a chef, a natural health practitioner, coach & teacher.

Simon offers conscious event catering, educational courses and personalised coaching that combines natural health principles, wholistic nutritional, modern psychology, traditional & contemporary food philosophy to help individuals create their own life changing food culture.

You can find Si cooking and teaching at Billabong Retreat every week Wednesday to Friday. For information on Wholefoods medicine, recipes, workshops and courses around Sydney, be sure to visit Simon’s Facebook page: Your Conscious Kitchen. or his Instagram Page

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