Being vegan around the holidays has certainly gotten easier over the years, though I certainly missed my grandmother's fruitcake. All 20 pounds of that wee loaf was something to write home about. Because I don't drink, I had to come up with a spiced something to soak my fruit and nut mix in.. I went with pineapple juice and a big chunk of ginger. It softens the mix and adds a badass kick to everything.
This is a 4-part recipe, which may seem a little terrifying - but in actuality, it's easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 cup Medjool dates, chopped
1/2 cup glace cherries, chopped
1/2 cup Calimyrna figs, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried candied citrus peel, chopped
1 cup nuts -- I used pecans, walnuts, and slivered almonds
2 tbsp maple syrup or agave
1 cup almond milk
Vanilla -- I used 1 tbsp vanilla paste
2 1/4 cups white flour
2 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
2 "eggs" -- I used No Egg*
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 325F. Grease up a large bundt pan, 8x mini loaf pan, 1x 9" springform, or 2x 5" loaf pans.
Combine Ingredients I and let sit for 15+ minutes. In a large bowl, mix together all of Ingredients II and pour 1/2 cup of your pineapple-ginger mix in. Cover and let sit for an hour. This'll soften up everything and get it tasting real nice. Give it a mix half an hour in.
In a small bowl, mix together your Ingredients III and set aside.
In the same massive fruit-and-nut bowl, begin sifting your Ingredients IV over top, and give it a good mix. Everything should be coated nicely in the dry mix. If you're wondering why this is a thing, it's so that your fruit/nuts won't stick together and fall to the bottom whilst baking.
*If you're using an egg alt that isn't a dry mix, or requires liquid, shove the liquids in your Ingredients III bowl.
Finally, pour Ingredients III over everything and give it a good mix. Your batter's to be thick, and well mixed.
Place batter in your pan(s). A bit over 3/4 full will do. For smaller loafs, 30 minutes will do. Larger pans will take a bit longer. Do the toothpick test! Your toothpick will come out dry, and the tops will be lightly browned.
Once fresh out the oven, brush your cake tops with your remaining pineapple juice. Let sit in the pans for another 15 minutes, brush again, and let sit 'til cool. Pop'um out, and wrap them up so they don't get gross.
A few days in these will taste best, but it's perfectly well and fine to dig in early.
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