Vegan Simnel Swirl Cake

Serves: 12 Cooking time: 90 minutes

A vegan take on a traditional Simnel Cake by Joanne Wood, of The Balanced Kitchen. The dried fruit means there is still a lot of sugar in the cake, but it's significantly less than in most shop-bought versions. 


For the cake:

  • 150g dried figs
  • 150g dried apricots
  • 100g dried goji berries
  • 300g mix of raisins and sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 150ml fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 zest of a whole orange
  • 1 zest of a whole lemon
  • 1 tbsp of mixed spice
  • 200g dairy-free spread
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 100g buckwheat flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 70g gram flour
  • 70ml water
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the marzipan:

  • 100g ground almonds
  • 70g Total Sweet Xylitol, powdered using a coffee grinder or similar
  • 30ml water


For the cake:

You will need a 2 Litre / 8.5 cup Bundt Tin

  1. Begin by placing the dried fruit, mixed peel, almond extract, zest and orange juice into a large bowl, mix together until the ingredients are coated in the orange juice, cover with a plate or clean tea towel and leave to soak overnight or for at least 5 hours.
  2. After soaking, stir through the mixed spice.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together the dairy-free spread, banana and xylitol until smooth, then add this mixture to the fruit mix and stir until combined.
  4. Next, add the flour, ground almonds, gram flour, water, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and compress down with the back of a spoon. Cover with foil and bake in a fan oven at 160 degrees C for 1 hour and 15 mins.
  6. After 1 hour and 15 mins of cooking time, remove the foil from the cake tin and cook for a further 15 mins until starting to brown on top.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool for 20 mins before turning it out onto a cooling rack and leaving it to cool completely.

For the marzipan:

  1. Mix the ground almonds and xylitol together in a small bowl and gradually stir in the water until the ingredients start to stick together.
  2. Take 1 tbsp level measure of the mixture and, with clean hands, roll it together in your palms to form a smooth ball shape. Set to one side and continue with the remaining mixture until you have 12 equal-sized balls.
  3. Place each ball on the cake before serving.