Celebration Cake (Alternative Christmas Cake)

I first came across this celebration cake as an alternative Christmas cake for diabetics.  (The portion details are given below.)

The only sugars in this are in the fruit.  If you’re used to very sweet Christmas cakes,. then this might taste a little odd, but once you’ve got used to the taste of the fruit without the mouth-cloying sugary confections that are usually passed as Christmas cakes, it’s hard to go back.

I have been told that this can be made dairy-free if margarine is used instead of butter.   However I have not tried this variant, so I can’t attest to its taste.

Portion Sizes

This cake makes 64 equal servings.

Each serving provides approximately: 1.5 Carbohydrate choices, 0.5 fat & oil choice, 13g carbohydrate1.5g fat2g dietary fibre71 kcal (100kj).


  • 450g Currants
  • 300g Sultanas
  • 1.5 cups Grated carrot
  • 0.33 cup Whisky
  • 1.33 cups Unsweetened Apple juice
  • 100g chopped Dried Apricots
  • 100g Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2.5 cups Wholemeal Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs

Cake tin: 23 x 23 cm lined and greased


Place currants, sultanas, grated carrot and whisky in a large bowl. Heat apple juice, chopped apricots and butter together in a large saucepan, until the butter has melted. Dissolve bicarbonate of soda in the hot mixture, then pour over the fruit. Add dry ingredients and eggs and mix well. (note: add the flour etc. first and mix a little, before adding the eggs – or the whites may cook.)

Transfer the mixture to the cake tin. Decorate with a few whole or chopped Walnuts or Almonds, if desired.

Bake at 160 C (325 F) until cooked – approximately 55 minutes.  Check that it is cooked by sliding a knife into the middle. When it is cooked, there should be no mixture left sticking to the knife when you pull it out.

Because the cake rises as it cooks, you’ll get a slightly domed top to it.  If you plan on icing it, then you can make a dip in the centre of the mixture once you’ve transferred it to the cake tin. This way, when it rises in the middle, it won’t dome so much over the edges.  The other other option is to flatten the top but carefully  slicing the top off using a bread knife.  This also provides an excellent excuse to get some cake before everyone else.

Other Options

I soak the fruit for 3 or 4 days before hand in a large mixing bowl.  Add a cup of either sherry, whisky or rum and a cup of orange juice to the fruit.  Stir occasionally.  This will also mean that the cake will remain moist right until the end.

I sometimes add a few glace cherries and almonds to the mix. This probably makes it a little less diabetic friendly.

The quantites of liquor are variable, so more whisky (or rum) can be added.

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