A fabulous festive treat and a wonderful alternative to the traditional Christmas Cake. Rich and buttery this is a yeasted cake so you do need to allow time for proving but it actually is so easy to make. You can make this in advance and spike it with brandy to keep it wonderfully moist before the big day.  If you are not keen on candied peel simply replace for chopped nuts, chocolate chips or other dried fruit.

Gluten Free Panettone

Difficulty – Medium

Time 20 minutes preparation plus 60 minutes cooking. 2 hours proving

Makes 1 cake / Serves 12

What’s good about it?

A fabulous gluten free and dairy free Christmas Cake. This version uses much less sugar than traditional cakes. You can switch some of the dried fruit for chopped nuts for additional protein and fibre if wished.  I have not yet tried making it vegan but you could try replacing the eggs with 2tbsp chia seeds soaked in 5tbsp water and 3tbsp dairy free spread softened.


  1. Warm the milk gently (you can do this in a microwave for a few seconds) – it should be warm rather than hot.
  2. Tip the yeast and half of the sugar into the milk with a spoonful of flour. Mix well and allow to prove for a couple of minutes
  3. Place the remaining flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthum gum into the food processor and process briefly to mix.
  4. Add the dairy free spread or butter and process until it is crumbly.
  5. Pour in the eggs and yeast mixture and process until it forms a stiff batter
  6. Add the dried fruit, candied peel and brandy and pulse briefly to mix.
  7. Tip the mixture into a large glass bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to prove for 1 hour.
  8. Lightly grease a panettone cake tin with dairy free spread.
  9. Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and smooth the surface. Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for another hour.
  10. When ready to cook preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark. Brush the top of the cake with beaten egg and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 150C and cover the cake with foil. Bake for a further 35 minutes or until it is cooked through.
  11. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.
  12. Heat a little apricot jam and brush this over the top of the cake while warm.


Did you know?

If you don’t have a panettone cake tin you can use a spring form cake tin and line the sides with a double layer of greaseproof paper to allow the cake to rise.  Use a 16-20cm cake tin.  To make ahead once cooled wrap in greaseproof paper then foil and store for up to 1 week. Alternatively freeze for 1-2 months.


500g Gluten Free Bread Flour

1tsp baking powder

1tsp xanthum gum

2 x 7g sachets easy-blend dried yeast

50g caster sugar

100ml Almond milk or full fat milk

5 eggs

200g dairy free spread or butter

200g dried mixed fruit

100g candied peel, finely chopped

2tbsp brandy or rum

To Glaze

1 egg beaten (or almond milk)

Warm apricot jam for brushing once cooked