Moist, fruity cake made with Bonne Maman Conserve, full of festive flavours and beautifully presented. It is also gluten-free and dairy-free and can be made fully vegan. We've stacked 2 cakes together to make this, but one cake will make 8-10 slices. Alternatively, bake the mixture in small baked bean tines to make cute individual Rednosed Reindeer cakes to give away as gifts. 

A Rednosed Reindeer Cake.

A Rednosed Reindeer Cake.


400g mixed dried fruit

300ml dry cider or apple juice

225g stoned whole dates

1 tbsp mixed spice

2 tbsp Bonne Maman Apricot, Mirabelle Plum or Fig Conserve

1 large ripe banana

Finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon

120g fine polenta

2 tsp baking powder (use gluten-free baking powder if wished)

2 large egg whites or 5 tbsp chilled aquafaba*

2 tbsp brandy or dry sherry, optional


  1. Put the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl and pour in 100ml of the cider or apple juice. Leave to soak overnight. 
  2. Heat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, gas mark 4. Line an 18cm round, 10cm deep cake tin or 6 small 220g baked bean tins with baking parchment.
  3. Put the dates, spice, conserve and remaining 200ml cider or apple juice into a saucepan and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool. 
  4. In a blender or processor, puree the date mixture with the banana. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the citrus zest, soaked dried fruit, polenta and baking powder. 
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites or aquafaba into soft peaks and fold into the fruit mixture. Spoon into lined cake tins. 
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes for individual cakes or 45-50 minutes for a large one, covering with foil after 30 minutes. A skewer pushed into the centre of the cake should come out clean when it's cooked.
  7. Drizzle the brandy or sherry over the hot cake, if using, then leave to cool in the tin. The cooked cakes keep well, wrapped in clingfilm and foil, in an airtight tin for up to 3 days, or can be frozen undecorated. 

Cook's tips

• *use aquafaba (canned chickpea liquid) to make the cake vegan. 

• Cake can be made well ahead, wrapped in clingfilm and frozen for up to 3 months. 

How to decorate:

  1. To make the Rednosed Reindeer Cakes, make 2 large fruit cakes or 6 individual cakes. 
  2. Sandwich the 2 large cakes together with extra Bonne Maman conserve. 
  3. Roll out 300g white fondant icing and, using the cake tins as a template, cut a curving line about 3cm out from the edge of the tin. 
  4. Brush the top of the cake/s with a little extra Bonne Maman conserve and cover the top/s with the fondant icing. 
  5. Roll 50g red fondant icing into 1 large or 6 small red 'noses' and press onto the middle of the cake/s.

To make the antlers

  1. Using 250g gingerbread biscuit dough (see our Spiced Christmas Wreath for a recipe), draw the outline of 2 large or 12 small antlers.
  2. Cut out, brush with beaten egg, and bake till crisp. 
  3. When cold, tape a wooden skewer or cocktail stick to the back of each antler with strong tape and push into the cake either side of the nose. 
  4. Alternatively, use a stiff brown card for the antlers.
  5. Decorate with reg gingham ribbon and bells. 

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