Cayle Christmas Cake (suitable for diabetics)

11:40 pm on 13 December 2005

A lot of recipes developed for special diets seem to place all the importance on observing the diet at the expense of flavour. If a recipe doesn't taste good, then we tend to revert to what we have always eaten and ignore the dieticians advice altogether.

This is particularly true of festive foods, too often the "Healthy" option is so far removed from our idea of what that food actually tastes like we'd almost rather go without than eat the substitute.

Not so with this Christmas cake, rich and dark but not sticky and cloying. It has a good cakey texture and the nutty spicy flavour of a classic Christmas cake with no added sugar or fat. The sweetness comes entirely from the fruit.


  • 3 cups mixed dried fruit (I use a brand called real value because the fruit is not sticky and syrupy, and I pick out the green cherries cos I cant take them seriously)
  • ½ cup pitted dates
  • 1 can of apricots or peaches in juice not syrup
  • ¼ cup cold tea
  • Zest of an orange
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 2¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 16 whole almonds for decorating
  • 1 tsp melted butter


Place the dried fruit in a large saucepan add the spices, juice from the canned fruit and orange zest. Chop the dates and canned fruit into small pieces and add to the pan with the cold tea. Bring to the boil stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes then cool.

Heat the oven to 170°C and grease and line an 18 cm square cake tin. When cool add the beaten eggs, almonds, baking soda and flour to the fruit and quickly combine. Stir well to ensure no floury pockets in the mix. Quickly pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or until dark golden and well risen. A skewer inserted into the cake should come out clean. If the cake browns too quickly place a double layer of paper over the top to protect it.

When cooked, cool for a few minutes in the tin then turn out, carefully remove baking paper and brush the top with melted butter to add a little shine.

Cut into 40 serves each serve contains 15g Carbohydrate.

(Cut into 20 serves each serve contains 30g Carbohydrate).

Nutrition Information supplied by Diabetes Auckland.