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Cranberry, Orange Grain Free, Vegan Christmas Cake

Chef Hana created this delicious winter holiday season cake using instead of flour, cassava and chufa (a nut free starch commonly refer to as tiger nut.) If you haven’t experimented with them, they do behave differently than gluten-free flours and absorb quite a bit of liquid. The cake batter also looks different - more separated once mixed, hence the addition of some tapioca flour for extra binding. The sponge is also more crumbly than one made with gluten-free flours so Hana opted for including apple sauce as well as flax eggs.

The cranberry chia jam and orange additions create a wonderful flavor combination. Chocolate ganache, fresh cranberries, orange slices, rosemary and edible gold powder used to finish it are lovely and festive for this time of year. This cake turned out beautifully with a wonderful flavor and a moist texture. It is perfect if you’re looking for a grain-free, vegan, gluten, soy and nut-free Christmas dessert this year.


  • Layer cake:

  • 110g cassava flour (1/2 cup)

  • 70g tigernut flour (1/2 cup)

  • 30g tapioca flour (1/4 cup)

  • 30g cacao powder (1/4 cup)

  • 1tsp baking powder

  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 1tsp cinnamon

  • ¼tsp cloves

  • ¼tsp allspice

  • pinch sea salt

  • 75g rapadura sugar (1/2 cup)

  • zest of 1 orange

  • 2tbsp ground flaxseed + 6tbsp water

  • 80ml apple sauce (1/3 cup)

  • 80ml olive oil (1/3 cup)

  • 120ml orange juice (1/2 cup)

  • 2tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1tsp vanilla

  • Cranberry chia jam:

  • 100g cranberries (1 cup)

  • 60ml orange juice (1/4 cup)

  • little orange zest

  • 1tbsp maple syrup

  • small cinnamon stick

  • 1tbsp chia seeds

  • Chocolate ganache: make the night before

  • 200g dark vegan chocolate (7oz) I've used Amore di Mona

  • 240ml oat or maple cream (1 cup)

  • 1tbsp maple syrup (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350F)

  2. Grease and line two 6" round cake baking tins.

  3. Mix 2 tbsp ground flaxseed with 6 tbsp water and set aside to thicken.

  4. In a large bowl whisk together cassava flour, tigernut flour, tapioca flour, cacao powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, salt and sugar. Add zest of 1 orange and set aside.

  5. In a small bowl whisk together flax eggs, apple sauce, olive oil, orange juice, apple cider vinegar and vanilla.

  6. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and mix until well combined. You should have muffin consistency. Add more orange juice or water if needed.

  7. Spoon the mixture evenly into your prepared tins and level out the surface.

  8. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean.

  9. Remove from the oven once ready and leave to cool down for 20 minutes before removing from the tins.

  10. To make the cranberry jam place cranberries, orange juice, maple syrup and cinnamon stick into a pot and gently heat for about 10 minutes until cranberries have popped and are soft. Remove the cinnamon stick and mash the cranberries with a fork until smooth. Stir in chia seeds and leave to cool down for a bit before transferring into fridge to set.

  11. Roughly chop the chocolate for the chocolate ganache and place into a medium bowl. Place the oat cream and maple syrup into a small pot and gently heat until boiling point. Pour over the chopped chocolate and stir until completely melted and smooth. Leave to cool down before placing into a fridge to set overnight into a spreadable consistency.

  12. Once the cakes are completely cool, you can assemble the cake. Place the bottom layer onto a cake stand and spread with cranberry chia jam. Top with the second cake layer and using spatula frost the sides and top of the cake.

  13. Pipe leftover ganache on top and decorate with fresh cranberries, orange slices and rosemary. Dust with gold edible powder.

  14. Enjoy!


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