I am allergic to fruit cakes.
Thankfully it is only the human variety that I find a bit hard to digest. But in the kitchen, mixing up a fruit cake always seems to bring out the romantic, old-fashioned side of me. As I am blending up my batter I find myself grabbing for my finest china in anticipation of a glorious English tea party with friends.
It has always puzzled me why nuts and fruit cake are used so widely as pejoratives. I suppose the phrase “as nutty as a fruit cake” used as far back as the 30’s to describe anyone crazy, eccentric or different is hard to shake. My friends and I only ever use these terms in jest.
But I still think maligning my beloved fruit and nuts in such a way does them a bit of a disservice. Afterall, fruit cakes are nothing short of fabulous! Why don’t we say “He/she is a total brussel sprout”? Yeah…doesn’t quite have the same comedic ring to it does it? Mmmm…let me work on that. But until I come up with an equally satisfying way to disparage with humour anyone who is a bit “left of centre” I will have to keep my tongue firmly in my cheek and keep using “fruit cake” and “nuts”. Or better still, confine my experience with fruit cakes to the kitchen and stop being judgemental.
So, in the spirit of celebrating fruit cake, here is another fabulous super easy sugar free fruit cake to blend up. My mum has been making this delicious healthy fruit cake for years. She snagged this fruit cake recipe from a friend and it has since been affectionately referred to as “Di’s Healthy Sugar Free Fruit Cake” ever since, as we have happily photocopied this healthy fruit cake recipe and lovingly passed it onto friends far and wide for the last decade.
There is an endless variety of fruit cake recipes out there. Fruit cake has been made since the Middle Ages. Every self respecting English and Australian woman has her favourite fruit cake blend, and a trusty family recipe that has been handed down by the women in her family from wooden spoon to wooden spoon. Fruit cake aficionados will champion the extremely rich, dense cakes that require a lot of soaking and time. There is no doubt that these labour-intensive cakes are superior -- offering a depth of flavour that is hard to achieve without putting in the love and time. My friend Gwen makes this exquisite gluten free fruit cake every Christmas that is just to die for; but it takes over a week to make!
In the interests of remaining faithful to our mantra, “simple, fun, healthy and happy”, I have decided to post this “throw together” healthy fruit cake that might not cut the mustard against some of the more decadent cakes, but is scrumptious nonetheless. I offer it to you as a perfect natural rescue remedy for any sugar cravings, or as a quick and easy cake for those surprise guests who pop over for a cup of tea on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You could literally throw this together and be chowing down in under an hour.
Most fruit cakes contain nuts, sugar and alcohol. This fruit-sweetened cake is nut free and dairy free -- good news for those of you with food allergies; and perfect for anyone wanting a sugar free cake. Fruit is sweet enough. You really don’t need any additional sweetener. The best thing about this cake? It is unbelievably moist. I have used rice flour and potato flour to make this recipe affordable. But this cake works really well with other gluten free flour mixes as well.
The magic ingredient in this easy healthy recipe is the mango. Try to purchase mango tinned in natural fruit juice instead of sugar syrup. If you can’t find this tinned mango, you could always use fresh or frozen mango with a 1/4 cup of organic apple juice.
Either way, this cake hits a sweet spot without making you sick.