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Vegan Fruit Loaf Cake (Traditional)

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Traditional vegan fruit loaf is an old-fashioned fruit cake or tea-bread style bake.

It is super easy to prepare and is just like the old-fashioned fruit loaf that our ancestors would have baked.

Surprisingly fruit cake has been dated back to the middle ages.

But it wasn’t until the 18-19th Century that humans began baking fruit cakes to mark special occasions such as weddings and other festivities. Nowadays, many countries around the world have their own variation of fruit cake which are often baked for celebrations.

This vegan fruit cake is ideal for enjoying as part of a New Years Eve or Scottish Hogmanay buffet spread as well as enjoyed with a Scots Robert Burn’s dinner.

vegan fruit loaf cake on wooden board and sliced into 13 pieces

Being Scottish fruit cake was always part of our new years celebration along with shortbread and madeira cake. That trio always signalled the new year was approaching.

And of course this cake is ideal for a vegan Christmas cake. Just bake in a round pan if preferred.

vegan fruit loaf cake sitting on a chopping board with tartan napkin and brown handled knife

Vegan Fruit Cake Recipe

This recipe for vegan fruit loaf cake is a super-moist beautifully spiced teatime treat that will easily become one of your go-to-staple recipes.

The aroma of this fruit cake baking and that first bite instantly feels and tastes like Christmas. The combination of spices in this fruit cake just make for the perfect festive bake. 

I always bake this cake whenever I have visitors as it is the most requested bake.

The dried fruit is stewed before baking which is a traditional method that achieves such a yummy, moist and deeply flavoured fruit cake.

Its so worth the extra effort.

vegan fruit loaf cake on grey plate with fork

Vegan Fruit Loaf Cake

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A slice of this fruit loaf is the perfect accompaniment to tea, coffee or a cold glass of plant-based milk.
Super rich but light. fruity, sweet and deliciously spiced with a tasty crusty top.
Even though this fruit cake is good-to-go soon after baking the flavours just get better as each day passes.
Course Dessert, Snack, Supper
Cuisine British
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Resting time for the stewed fruit 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Servings 13 slices
Calories 271
Author Jacq


  • 1 kg loaf pan or 2 smaller 1 pound loaf pans. If you don't have a loaf pan then a cake/or square pan around 8 inches should do.
  • Saucepan


  • 225 grams self-raising flour
  • 225 grams soft brown sugar
  • 160 ml plant-based milk
  • 450 grams dried fruit Use any combination of dried fruit: mixed dried fruit, currants, sultanas, raisins, dates, cherries, figs, prunes, pineapple, papaya, mango, apple, apricots, etc.
  • 130 grams apple sauce To easily make your own apple sauce chop into small pieces 3 eating apples and stew in a tbsp or 2 of water till soft. Mush up with a potato masher or fork.
  • 100 grams plant-based margarine I use Vitalite margarine
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice or Pumpkin spice powder
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves


  • Place the dried fruit, margarine, sugar and milk in a saucepan.
    Over a medium heat bring to the boil, stirring frequently.
  • Lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the cooker for another 5 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 150 Fan/170 Celsius/ Gas mark 3/ or 300 Fahrenheit.
    Prepare your loaf pan or baking tin by lightly greasing and lining with baking paper.
  • Take your saucepan of the heat and leave to cool for 20 minutes.
    Mix though the apple sauce.
  • Scoop the stewed fruit mix into a bowl.
    Add the flour and spices.
    vegan fruit loaf cake
  • Spoon the cake mix into your loaf pan.
    Level down the surface with the back of a spoon.
    vegan fruit loaf cake
  • Place on the bottom or lower middle shelf of your oven, never near the top, and bake for 50-60 minutes. However, It could take another 10-20 minutes, depending on your oven.
    Check after about 50 minutes to see how its going.
    Cake will be ready when it is golden brown and a skewer or knife poked through into the loaf, comes out clean.
  • Cool in the loaf tin for at least 30 minutes.
    Gently tip the cake out and peal the baking paper off.
    Leave to cool on a wire rack.
    Once cooled cut into 12 slices, or less depending on thickness!
    vegan fruit loaf cake


Useful recipe notes:
  • Always bake fruit cake on the middle or lower rungs of your oven as placing too high in the oven can cause the dried fruit to burn. 
  • Don’t open your oven door to check on the fruit cake until at least 40 minutes has passed as opening sooner could cause your cake to sink a little.
  • This fruit cake can be stored for up to 7 days, wrapped in kitchen foil or parchment paper and placed in an air-tight container.
  • Fruit cake freezes beautifully. Wrap each individual slice or place a piece of parchment paper between each slice and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at  room temperature with the wrapping removed.
  • Toasted fruit cake slices are amazing for breakfast!




Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 327IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg
close up photo of slices of vegan fruit loaf cake


Fruit Cake Recipe FAQs

  • Vegan fruit loaf cake will stay fresh wrapped in parchment paper and kitchen foil, or in a tin, for at least 7 days. Possibly a few more days if well wrapped and kept in a cool, dry place.
  • Enjoy a slice of fruit cake warmed through on a hot-plate or on a baking tray in the oven for a few minutes. Its super tasty warm.
  • Also try toasting on a panini machine or in a toastie bag. Spread a little vegan butter over and enjoy for breakfast.
  • Spread a slice of fruit loaf cake with your favourite spread. Such as jam/jelly, peanut butter, plant-based margarine, etc.
  • To save time, I usually prepare the stewed fruit while I am preparing lunch and then let it cool till later in the day when I am ready to bake the loaf.
  • A sticky glaze can be added to the loaf. Use 1-2 tbsp of jam/preserve and 1-2 teaspoons or  water. Using a fork whisk these two ingredients together. Using a pastry brush or spatula spread out over the loaf. Ginger preserve makes for an especially tasty glaze.
  • Alternatively, make up some water icing to pour over. Use about 4 tbsp of sifted icing sugar and add tiny drops of water until you mix up the right consistency to drizzle over the loaf. For lemon or lime drizzle just add freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice in place of the water. If you don’t have a lemon juicer you can easily use a tablespoon to dig into the fruit, turning it around until all the juice has been extracted.
  • For a ginger spiced loaf cake sub out the cloves and nutmeg and add a tsp of ginger.
  • Try adding some grated lemon, lime or orange zest to the cake batter.
  • Any combination of dried fruit works for this fruit cake. I especially love adding chopped dates for yummy hints of caramel.
  • For a tropical fruit cake sub out some of the dried fruit for some chopped dried mango and dried papaya.
  • A slice of this fruit cake is ideal as part of an afternoon tea spread.
vegan fruit loaf cake on grey plate with fork and tartan cup

Looking for a gluten-free, vegan. fat and oil-free, sugar-free, fruit loaf cake?

Try this amazing easy Free-from fruit cake recipe for such an easy, simple and quick bake. Perfect for Christmas so be sure and bookmark the recipe.


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24 thoughts on “Vegan Fruit Loaf Cake (Traditional)”

  1. 5 stars
    So yummy! This fruit loaf cake is so addicting and so delicious! Can’t wait to make this again! Everyone loved this.

  2. 5 stars
    Fruit cake is definitely a holiday tradition and now that I have a vegan family member I needed this recipe. Thank you, this works for everybody!

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