Vegan Light Fruit Cake – Dairy | Lactose Free – Christmas | Thanksgiving Menu

Recipe for a light fruit cake for Christmas – Vegan
Today my sister turns a year older (I am not giving away her age here lest I am beaten up the next time we meet!). I wish I could share this cake with her but I can’t as we live in different cities, so better still – I am just having another piece in her name! Some things will never change. Here’s a recap through the years.

We are three of us. My sister P, is older than I am. It always showed in her responsible acts and me being the younger one showed up too. 🙂 I remember an incident from when I was 9 and she 11. Our school was a good 8 kms. from home and we used to travel by the school bus. Once it rained heavily and the school closed in two hours. We missed the bus for some reason. She and I had to walk all the way home. When we reached the gate my mother got a shock because P was carrying two bags and trudging home whereas I was skipping along behind with two empty water bottles – isn’t that some deal? Now, don’t you take her to be all goody-goody.

The very next incident I take you to will tell you what I mean. We had long hair reaching upto our knees and these were worn in two tight plaits. When we got into a fight it was pretty nasty. I remember twirling around the room, the two of us holding the other’s plait and pulling it along. We gave our parents quite a remarkable training in parenting and were rightly awarded the title ‘mongoose and snake’ by a few aunts who thought their children were better brought up (but we knew they were like us too – only more discreet!). Growing up into fine(?) young ladies was another experience altogether. She decided our heroes and I would faithfully follow suit fighting over the same idol. She had to endure my painful nagging when her friends showed up and I never gave up being the sweet sister when they were around. We hated sharing our rooms and cupboards as long as school days lasted. Later, when she left home for studies and work, she left a void none of my books or clothes could fill.

With my younger sister it was a different relationship as she is a whole generation behind me.   We grew closer only when she reached high school. With all of us beyond 30, the age gap is now bridged. We meet up every year and have a great time. We share books brought over the year.  We sing together like we used to sing when we were kids (me doing the male vocals, P the female and B. the younger one joining in the ‘chorus’). There is something about sisters that cannot be replicated in any other relationship. We hardly have time to remember the good things as the naughty stuff is still going on, and when we meet we are still the ‘powerpuff girls’. Our daughters gang up together and try teasing us with the moniker ‘the three little (big) pigs’, but the wolves on the prowl just shut them up:).

  Vegan light fruit cake | Dairy, lactose, casein, eggless | ©

Have a big bite of this cake and don’t you forget to sing the ‘happy birthday song’ for my sister!

The cake is not the soft and porous kind served on birthdays nor does it have cream but I would rather have a firm teacake any day than a creamy one. It is full of flavours – of cinnamon, apple and guava. The dry fruits mulled in apple juice give a great taste in every bite. It makes a good option for vegan Christmas cakes especially if you are in favour of healthy, vegan desserts. This time I used coconut oil instead of vegan butter and all purpose flour instead of my preferred combination of whole wheat pastry flour, APF and corn flour.

Dish: First holiday bake – Vegan Light Fruit Cake
Source: Recipe developed by Harini P
Yield: Makes 16 squares (nearly 2 inches each)


For the marinated fruit:
Packaged apple juice (I used Real) – 1/2 cup
2 tbsps each of kismis, black raisins, chopped almonds, chopped pistachios, chopped walnuts and chopped apricots.
1 stick cinnamon and 1 petal of star anise.
In a bowl mix the above together and place in the refrigerator for two to five days before making the cake. This will allow the flavours to be drawn into the juice and the fruit. You may add fruits of your choice. These were readily available with me.


For the cake:
All purpose flour – 2 cups
Baking powder – 2tsps.
Salt – 1/8tsp.
Coconut oil – 3/4 cup
Pulp removed from two large, ripe guavas after deseeding
Sugar – 3/4 cup (More if you have a sweet tooth)
Soy milk – 1/2 cup (1/4 cup extra if needed)


Prepare a square 8″ tin. I used non-stick but greased and floured all the same!

Pre-heat oven to 180 deg. Cel. or 350 deg. F.

De-seed the ripe guavas before removing the pulp and place in a mixer/blender alongwith coconut oil and sugar else the seeds will prove irritating. Blend till smooth. It should now yield about 400g of mixture. Set aside.

Stir the baking powder into the flour and add salt. Place all three in a big container. Close and give it a good shake to aerate the flour and mix them uniformly. I read this in some blog long back and it always works. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.

Add the fruits and residual juice if any into the flour and stir till evenly distributed and well coated. Now add the guava butter and stir well. Add the soy milk and stir further till you get a thick batter. It will be sticky, not flowing.

Pour into the prepared tin and smoothen adding a tbsp. of extra soymilk, with your fingers. The surface will not be very smooth as the dough isn’t of pourable consistency.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 to 40minutes till the top is golden brown. It may crack on the surface a little which is fine.

Cool for about 10 minutes before removing as it is crumbly while still hot and will firm as it cools. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or a dusting of fine sugar. Best eaten a day later as the flavours draw out well.

I used guava only because my husband brought many of these and they were ripening at a very fast pace. The guava flavor really smells nice and it is the first time I have had a dessert with them! Soft, fleshy pears should make a good alternative, I guess.

The cake will not rise too much. The finished cake itself is just over an inch high, but it is moist thanks to all the juice in it! A drizzle of maple syrup renders it even better.

This goes to Divya’s (of Dil Se…) event – Show me your cake.

Happy Birthday, P!

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Have your say

  1. Ha ha reading aobut you both pulling plait made me rememeber we girls used to do the same, we also were three girls but we are only one and a half years between and we still used to fight about who took and touched other one things.
    Cakes look yumm.
    Happy b'day to your sister.

  2. Hey, same pinch and no returns! It is fun and we still fight over those things like you said. P has never forgotten how I pilfered her Imran Khan posters!!

  3. Reading the post, I think of the times I pestered my elder sis and the times we argued and made up. And driving our mom crazy by just sitting in the same room with each reading a book on one corner of the room but we'll still be connected regardless of the silence…copying the elder sister acts is a another story..

    Nice cake..but made with coconut oil?? I have never tried that..will try it soon..

  4. Happy Birthday to ur sister P:).Ur post reminded me of my bro,i was such a meanie sis.Now when I think about those days,i jes cant stop laughing.Over the years things have changed so much,now he is my closest buddy:).Cake looks wonderful Harini,I found the idea of marination quite interesting.Great pic as always!

  5. I had only one sis we both had a quiet long age gap. But me and my little broth fought … he used to pull my ponny tail and I was pretty good holding his hair first! What a fun days…
    The vegan fruit cake is decadent!

  6. Reading your post made me remember my fights with my bro 🙂 we used drive my mom
    The cake looks butter no sugar…fab!!

  7. nice reading your memories. Me and my sister didnot fight much.Would like to see your old snap with long hair.

    Delicious cake.. Wanted to try coconut oil in baking. Seeing yours, I think i will try it soon.

  8. Cake wid guava sounds very interesting..lovely cake…Happy Birthday to ur sister…

  9. Firstly, I am indeed singing Happy Birthday song for dear sis, though a day later, but guess what, you can too sing the same song in return, for my younger sis, who shares her b'day with ur sis(8 th december) lol..And yeah being a sandwiched sister(having an elder and a younger one) I know how it feels interacting with two different age groups…Share the same emotions with you regarding sisters being best ….cake looks delicious, I will make one(with cake mix..sigh) on weekend for my sis, when we will visit her

  10. Gauva in a cake sounds so good!

  11. I'm an only child and I have and still miss the sibling (fun) rivalry and stuff.

    Coconut oil and guava in a fruit cake is new to me.

  12. Happy birthday to your sister ! Enjoyed reading your post. The cake sounds fantastic, guava and coconut oil in a cake sounds intriguing…

  13. thats so nice reading about you and your sister.. (I miss all those fun cos I am the only daughter – no one to fight with :() Happy Birthday to your Sister and cake looks perfect…

  14. Oh Harini, u have kindled so many sweet memoies. Me and my sis were of exact type and had several quarrels, fights etc. Cake looks yummy and Wishing your dear sis a very happy b'day!

  15. your post reminded me of my childhood days spent with my elder sis. and a nice vegan cake..first time seeing coconut oil in cake. 🙂

  16. I envy u! not having sisters is something i've always missed.

    the recipe sounds v.good! happy b'day to ur P.

  17. Happy B'day to your loving sis…I have a younger sis too and thanks for reminding me about the great times we shared and fought..:D
    What a healthy and yumm cake..:-)

  18. A relationship between sisters is always so rewarding– so full of little quibbles but always so close. I loved reading about the relationship between you and your sister, Harini, and I wish I had a sister close to my age.
    Desi's been after me for years to make a fruitcake– one that isn't like a brick, of course 🙂 Yours looks tender and delicious.

  19. Nice post…Enjoyed it, Harini!Apparently the fruit cake here takes a few weekes to make..This looks very pretty and cute:)

  20. Such a warm writeup you have there! I don't have a sister but I have a cousin I was fairly close with while growing up.. reading your writeup suddenly reminded me of her, it has been a while now since we have met and the memories seem to fade away a bit but only to be revitalized by such anecdotes 🙂

    love the light fruit cake!

  21. 🙂 Happy Birthday to your sister. Blessings not counted years, but wishes.

    Beautiful cake. Love all your vegan versions, so simple but looks just perfect. what's a celebration without a cake.

  22. Holiday is the start of more bakes, ya? ;p

  23. wow! you made it vegan. awesome 😀

  24. i dont know about having sisters, but mostly i know what you mean because things were the same with my elder brother. hope you three have more fantastic time together. and i had those awful tight madrassi braids with ribbons! imagine having to wear black framed glasses and pigtails, i was a complete disaster. is it any wonder that now, your hair and mine looks like it just escaped guatanemo!!! i still cant see any images.

  25. Wow! How come always GOD decides a threesome is real fun?? Me and my sisters were the same and never know when we discovered we cared deeply for each other!
    very sweet post and a lovely cake.
    Chalo, you can have one more share too.

  26. What a wonderfully nostalgic post tinged with the love that you share 🙂

    The cake must be well appreciated!

  27. wow the cake looks delicious & tempting ……….

  28. i love the prelude…was indeed very nostalgic and very well written…i loved the fruit cake…waiting for your xmas pudding that you have on flickr….

  29. I feel that We somehow appreciate the gift of having someone elder when we grow elder. As a kid I and my brother fought for every stupid thing. We would even fight over who would sleep with mom or who gets to eat maggi first. We both fought over so much and ensured that we give each other more than what they deserved!! But now I hardly miss fight with him. Infact I want everything to be perfect for him and cannot even see him in slightest trouble.. We grow up 😀
    Cake looks yummy and fruit cake is my all time fav..Happy birthday to your Sis P 🙂

  30. I'll have a piece in your sister's honor 😀 I love this version of fruit cake.

  31. Nice photos..birthday wishes to your sister…

  32. I miss my sister too.. btw the cake looks special..

  33. Hi.. nice posts.. I like ur blog.. Hope u will visit my blog too..

  34. Hi,

    Recently came across your space.Great collection.Sweet post.Unique cake combo.


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