Gluten free Christmas cake

As Christmas cakes go, this recipe is pretty straightforward and quick to make. I’m not a massive fan of the traditional thick icing or fruit peel, but you can make yours to your own preference. The recipe makes one large cake serving around 16.


150g sultanas

350g raisins

50g chopped dried apricot

50g chopped soft dried prunes

150g glace cherries (and a few extra for decoration)

50g chopped crystallised stem ginger

150ml rum or whisky

zest & juice 1 orange

zest & juice 1 lemon

5 large eggs

300g soft brown sugar

pinch of salt

250g plain gluten free flour

1tsp mixed spice

1 tsp nutmeg (or 1 whole, grated)

2tsp cinnamon

1tsp baking powder

1 tsp xantham gum

150g unsalted butter (room temperature)

1 heaped tbsp golden syrup

Clear honey (for decoration)


  1. Preheat oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2 and grease a round baking dish.
  2. Place the raisins, sultanas, apricot, prunes and cherries in a bowl, then add the rum and cover. Leave to soak overnight.
  3. The next day, in a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar together.
  4. Add the eggs one by one while whisking.
  5. Stir in the mixed spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange, lemon and golden syrup.
  6. Add the flour, salt, baking powder and xanthum gum and mix well.
  7. Into this mixture, stir in the fruit that has been soaking, scraping in extra juices, plus the chopped ginger pieces.
  8.  Scrape the mixture into the baking tin, don’t worry if it nearly fills the tin.
  9. Bake for 1.5 – 2 hours, or until golden brown on top and a skewer into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Once completely cool, decorate using the cherries and a drizzle of honey.





Chinaski’s 239 North St, Glasgow, G3 7DL.

opening hours: mon – sun, 11am – 12pm

Visited in December 2016

My gluten free Glasgow rating: ♦♦½ (2.5 out of 5)

Knowledge of staff: staff were really friendly and happy to take questions to the kitchen but they didn’t seem to have had much in the way of training about gluten free requirements.

Gluten free menu: no separate gluten free menu or marked gluten free options on the main menu, but they did provide an allergen list. There were vegan and Christmas menus available, but they weren’t included in the allergen list which was really disappointing.

What’s on offer: There were only 3 non-gluten main meal options available: steak, burger and pan fried chicken. I went for the chicken which came with ham hock, mashed potatoes and salsa verde. It was, to be fair, amazing! The only gluten free dessert was the affogato (and the shortbread pictured wasn’t gluten free by the  way). It would have been nice to have a bigger choice available.

Basically… for one of the best bars in Glasgow, it was an underwhelming gluten free offer.