Butterless Fruit Loaf

I love cake. I’m always on the lookout for cake recipes that I think would convert well to a gluten free version. Since I sometimes miss out cake I have a lot of sympathy for other people with special diets who are missing out too. Recently I’ve been feeling very sorry for the Long Distance Runner. He can’t eat cake because of his strict low fat diet which the doctors have enforced after a recent heart scare. I don’t get to eat every cake, but at least I can eat some of them. The Long Distance Runner hasn’t eaten cake in months. It would be very hard for me to have the self control that he has, even with a good medical reason. I don’t believe that anyone should have to live without cake, so I was very excited to find a Fruit Loaf recipe recently which is very low in fat.

A recipe without butter or oil seemed too good to be true. Would you believe that you could make a cake without butter that was still beautifully moist? I didn’t, but the proof is in the pudding (or at least in the cake) and this fruit log is incredibly sweet and moist. I’ve converted the recipe from Taste to make a gluten free version. I’ve included almond meal as well as gluten free flour, since gluten free flour is so dry and crumbly. The recipe calls for an overnight step to soak the fruit, but I found that soaking from breakfast time until evening worked too. It’s simple to make, so I’d recommend it even if you aren’t watching your cholesterol.


Ingredients for the cake
300g mixed dried fruit
450ml hot Earl Grey tea
90g brown sugar
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1 1/2 gluten free plain flour
1 tab + 2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 egg

Ingredients for the sugar syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Place the dried fruit in a bowl and cover with hot tea. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line a loaf pan (10 by 25 cm) with baking paper.

Strain the fruit and reserve the tea for later. Then add all the remaining ingredients to the fruit. Gradually add the reserved tea until the batter is soft (the same as a regular cake batter in consistency). I had less than 1/4 cup of the tea left over.

Pour the cake into the lined pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Check that the cake is done with a skewer.

While the cake is baking prepare the sugar syrup. Combine the sugar and water and simmer for 10-15 min.

When the cake is done pour the syrup over the hot cake.

17 thoughts on “Butterless Fruit Loaf

  1. This looks like a good cake, let alone one that is gluten free and low in added fats.

    What’s the consistency like? It looks somewhat of a dense loaf, not that I’m implying that there is anything wrong with that πŸ™‚

  2. Looks nice. I have thought of that tea thing, because I have never used tea in baking but people seem to be using it a lot. Maybe I’ll try this πŸ™‚

  3. That looks wonderfully moist. I think I would cry if I couldn’t eat cake. Thank goodness for alternatives.

  4. I know how you feel, I sometimes miss out on cake too because of my nut allergies. How fantastic that this doesn’t use any butter or oil, it still looks fantastically moist! I’ve never seen a recipe that uses Earl Grey tea before, how intriguing!

  5. You are right about gluten-free usually being a bit dry. The almond meal certainly gives your loaf some moistness, along with the fruit. It looks wonderful enough for us gluten gluttons to make!

  6. Hi Arwen,

    This looks so yummy! I love a moist cake crammed with dried fruit, and it sounds like it would have such a great flavour with the earl grey tea – the citrusy bergamot and the sharpness of the tea would give it a real lift I reckon. This might be a weekend baking project…

  7. Wow… gluten free and butterless, sound almost too good to be true, but you pulled it off it looks amazingly delicious πŸ™‚

  8. I think I would cry too, if I couldn’t eat cake… But at least I would have this beautifully studded loaf to comfort me πŸ™‚

  9. Good looking cake, Arwen. This is the reason why I *love* baking with almond meal. It retains moisture and creates soft, tender crumb. I have a HUGE bag of almond meal in the freezer for this very purpose.

  10. wow, a cake that moist and delicious that is good for you? what is this world coming too? Unfortunately I would be tempted to make it really unhealthy like dumping a heap of cream or butter or even honey on top. hmmmmm yum, butter and honey!

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