Countdown to Christmas Cookery 2: Chocolate, Pear and Almond Pudding Cake and Cranberry Christmas Cake (both vegan and sugar free)

Top with flaked almonds, drizzles of dark chocolate and more cinnamon...

... bathe in a haze of luxurious chocolate soya custard. (the cake, that is)..

Hello, and welcome to Episode Two of my Christmas recipe mini-series! This time we're in the mood for some cake (who wouldn't be??) and I have two delicious recipes for cake to see you through the festive season. One is a vegan traditional-style Christmas cake which, if you do not ice and marzipan it, contains no added sugar; just the natural sugar in the dried fruit. (Make sure the cranberries are sweetened with fruit concentrate though.) The other is a less traditional combo, also sugar free, which can be eaten cold in place of fruit cake or warm with custard/ sauce/ cream in place of Christmas pudding.

First is the chocolate, pear and almond pudding cake. A touch of cinnamon lends it that Christmassy feel. Make sure you use xylitol chocolate (Plamil make a good one) for the drizzles and xylitol in any custard or sauce you serve it with if you want to keep it sugar free. This recipe makes a cake of around the same size as my basic sponge cake. It's quite rich and luxurious, so you -probably ;) - won't want massive slices... besides, the ground almonds give it the tendency to dry out after a day or so- better eat it up quick!
400g white self-raising flour
3-4 tabs cocoa powder
4 tsps baking powder (not bicarbonate of soda)
100g ground almonds
50ml date syrup
50ml agave nectar
100ml pure maple syrup
150ml coconut oil
400ml soya milk
2 tsps powdered cinnamon (as fresh as possible, for maximum flavour) plus more for sprinkling
2-3 conference pears, sliced thinly
a handful of flaked almonds
50g dark chocolate for drizzling
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together,including the cinnamon, in a large bowl.
  • Heat the oil, soya milk and syrups gently in a small pan, whisking to blend them together.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and beat well for about a minute.
  • Pile into a prepared cake tin/ mould (I used a rectangular one) and top with a single layer of pear slices and a handful of flaked almonds.
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 180C for 20-25 mins, until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake emerges clean.
  • When cooked, drizzle generously with the chocolate and sprinkle with more cinnamon. Serve hot or cold. (I served it with soya custard into which I stirred the remainder of the chocolate: mmmm!)
If you want something a little more traditional, then this cranberry fruit cake is perfect. Top it with marzipan and icing to complete the Christmas effect, or go for decorating it with dried fruits and nuts to keep it sugar free.

Find the recipe here, along with more pictures of how I decorated it. Happy baking :)


  1. ooooh! that cake looks really nice :)

  2. mmmmmm yummy pudding Cake i love it, thanks to share with us i try to make it at my home

    buy coconut palm sugar

  3. Many thanks for this superamazingly yumful pudding cake! With chocolate, pears and almonds...yumza! :)


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