This Totally Messed-With Christmas Cake is a winner for the festive season! Unlike traditional Christmas cakes that are chock full of dried fruit and sugar, this cake has wholesome ingredients and lots of Christmas spices.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs
Serves: 16
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Dietary Requirements: Gluten Free, Pescatarian, Vegetarian
Author: Sarah Wilson


  • 2 cups gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 medium orange zested
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • 100 g 85–90% dark chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 200 g unsalted butter cubed
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 cups beetroot grated
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds optional


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and grease a 20cm spring-form cake tin.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, coconut, almond meal, cacao powder, baking powder, spices and zest. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate.
  • Melt the butter and rice malt syrup in a small saucepan over a medium heat (or in the microwave). Cool slightly.
  • Break the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk. Stir in the brandy, then whisk in the melted butter and rice malt syrup.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the beetroot and stir well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and smooth the top. Decorate with blanched almonds (if using). Cover the tin with foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and cook for a further 15–25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes before removing it from a tin. This cake can be served warm or cool.


Storage warning: The reason traditional fruit-filled Christmas cakes last for so long is that they’re full of sugar and alcohol. Both work as preservatives and in some cases they can keep the cake moist and mould-free for several months. This cake ain’t that. Store it in an airtight container and it should keep for up to a week. Or freeze it for up to 2 months.
Nutrition Facts
Sugar-Free Christmas Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 392 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 68mg23%
Sodium 43mg2%
Potassium 278mg8%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 396IU8%
Vitamin B3 1mg5%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Vitamin K 2µg2%
Calcium 87mg9%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

NB: All main course recipes use quantities from the ‘Female Healthy Weight Maintenance’ Stream of the 28 By Sam Wood program. So if you’re a male, feel free to bulk it up.

If you’re looking for sustainable weight loss, why not check out our 28 By Sam Wood Weight Loss Program?

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Posted by I Quit Sugar

In May 2018 Sarah Wilson appointed 28 By Sam Wood as the sole custodian of all the IQS recipes that were freely available on the I Quit Sugar blog. At 28 we are committed to the cause of reducing processed sugar in our diets, so we have pledged that all freely available recipes remain free and available to the public. You can find them all at