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South African Rum and Raisin Vegan Fruit Cake

Serves: 18

Ready in: 60 mins +

Vegan Friendly

Fruity and delicious, this rich rum and raisin cake is perfect for Christmas and special occasions. Chia seeds are used to replace eggs for a delicious vegan take on the classic bake.

South African Rum and Raisin Vegan Fruit Cake Recipe: Veggie


1kg South African Flame raisins
100g glacé cherries, halved
150ml dark rum, plus 3 tbsp for ‘feeding’
4 tbsp chia seeds
150g dairy-free margarine
150g dark muscovado sugar
100g ground almonds
finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
200g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp ground mixed spice


  • Put the raisins and cherries into a large mixing bowl. Cover with boiling water, stir well, and leave for 2-3 minutes. Drain thoroughly through a colander. Tip the fruit back into the bowl and add the rum, stirring well. Cover and leave in a cool place for up to two days, but at least overnight - this plumps up the raisins and makes the cake deliciously moist.
  • Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Grease and line a 20cm-round cake tin with double-thickness baking paper.
  • Put the chia seeds into a bowl and add 150ml just-boiled water. Leave to cool. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, using a wooden spoon or hand-held electric mixer. Stir in the cooled chia seeds, almonds, orange zest and orange juice.
  • Sift the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into the mixing bowl, folding them through with a large metal spoon. Do not beat the mixture at this stage. Add the soaked raisin mixture, and stir it in thoroughly. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, levelling the surface. Remember that the mixture will not rise.
  • Bake for approximately two hours in the centre of the oven. Test that the cake is cooked by inserting a fine skewer into the centre – it should come out clean. If not, cook for a little longer. Stand the cake on a wire rack, and leave it to cool in the tin. When completely cold, spoon three tablespoons of dark rum over the surface and let it soak in. Wrap in baking paper, and store in an airtight tin in a cool place for up to one month.
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