Paleo Christmas Fruit Cake & Christmas Recipe Round-Up

Braised Brussels Sprouts, Quirky Cooking
Braised Brussels Sprouts and Second Chances
October 26, 2017
Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Red Wine Sauce
December 19, 2017
Paleo Christmas Fruit Cake, Quirky Cooking

by Jo Whitton, recipe by Sarah Moran

Well it’s that time of year again, when the Christmas excitement (and the Christmas stress) begins to escalate, and we madly scramble for Christmas cooking ideas and gift ideas, try to tidy up the house because family is coming, and wonder why we didn’t get organised earlier this year like we were planning to??? (Or is that just me? Ha ha!)

Christmas always seems to creep up on me. Probably because I’m working and travelling hard, planning for next year, finishing off the homeschool reports for the year, developing new Christmas recipes, cooking for gifts and parties and Christmas day, and also trying to take some time out with family and friends. 

However, we DID manage to get a beautiful Quirky Christmas recipe ebook together using the grain free dough/pastry recipe from our Life-Changing Food cookbook – yay us!!! Hopefully you got your copy via our newsletter, but if not you can subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll get the link in your confirmation email*. (If you don’t have our cookbook – or it’s wrapped up and sitting under your Christmas tree and you’re not allowed to open it yet – you can use your favourite pastry recipe with our filling ideas, so make sure you check it out!)

* Note: If you are subscribed to our newsletter but can’t find the email with the ebook link, you can contact us here.



Sarah Moran, Quirky CookingAnother bit of exciting news… the Quirky team has a new addition!! My wonderful friend Sarah Moran from Pursue What is Lovely has joined us in the kitchen. She helped us out with recipes in the free Christmas e-book, and she has also developed this great recipe for Paleo Christmas Fruit Cake for us. If you come to one of our Life-Changing Food seminars in the coming year, you’ll see Sarah running around madly preparing the tastings and demo dishes, and she’ll also be helping us with recipe development and testing. Welcome Sarah, we’re so happy to have you as part of the team, and we love this recipe!

So, on to the recipes!

For those of you who are a bit last minute like me and are still trying to work out your Christmas cooking, here’s a Quirky Christmas Recipe Round-Up for you, as well as our new Paleo Christmas Fruit Cake recipe. Fouad and I have also done a live ‘flip-through’ of our cookbook on the podcast today, talking through our best gluten-free Christmas recipes from the book, so have a listen here and be inspired! The chat is followed by an amazing interview with Dr Tom O’Bryan who is a leading speaker on the dangers of gluten and on gluten sensitivity. An incredible podcast to educate yourself as well as your family and friends!

>> Listen here to our Quirky Christmas Tips, and a chat about Gluten with Dr Tom O’Bryan <<


Quirky Christmas Recipe Round-Up

Chocolate Christmas Tree, Quirky Cooking
Raw Macadamia Lime Cheesecake, Quirky Cooking

Breakfast Ideas

  • Christmas Breakfast Casserole (pictured left) – prepare ahead with a delicious casserole you can pop into the oven on Christmas morning while everyone opens their gifts!
  • Huevos Rancheros – another savoury breakfast favourite that can be prepared ahead
  • Pancakes, 3 Ways (spelt, gluten free & grain free options) – for those who like a sweet breakfast on Christmas morning; serve with blueberry syrup for a delicious start to the day
  • Chia Pudding with Roasted Berries – prepare ahead and layer in the morning
  • Coconut Vanilla Rice Pudding – an old favourite; add some sultanas and spices to make it Christmassy if you like!
  • Banana Pecan Spice Bread – keep it simple and make this bread days ahead, slice and freeze, and toast on Christmas morning

Mains, Sides & Salads

  • Turkey with Grain Free Stuffing – if you want a traditional Christmas dinner with a beautiful roast turkey as the centrepiece, here’s a recipe I developed a couple of years ago with a grain free stuffing
  • Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Red Wine Sauce – I have to mention this one as it’s one of my favourite recipes of all time! The recipe is in our Life-Changing Food cookbook, and is super easy and very delicious!
  • Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic – another delicious family favourite – make it look amazing by roasting the chicken whole (or butterflied)
  • Herb-Crusted Salmon – a very impressive dish that everyone will love! Use King Salmon or your preferred fish if you can’t get wild-caught pink salmon. Recipe is in the Life-Changing Food cookbook.
  • Cauliflower-Leek Mash – a simply delicious side dish for those trying to keep carbs low
  • Quinoa Salad – bright and colourful and filling! Serves a crowd
  • Moroccan Cauliflower ‘Cous Cous’ Salad (gluten free, grain free) – a main meal salad that is perfect for taking to Christmas parties and BBQs!

Baking & Treats

  • Christmas pastries (grain free) – see our Quirky Christmas Recipes Ebook (above) for party favourites like Chocolate Hazelnut Christmas Tree (pictured left), Grain Free Mince Pies, Boxing Day Pasties, Mini Beigli, Apple & Nutmeg Franigpane Tarte, Feta & Mint Fatayer, and more!
  • Steamed Christmas puddings (grain free) – GAPS & Paleo friendly recipe with Thermomix method
  • Gingerbread Biscuits (grain free) – make your gingerbread men and gingerbread stars, and even Pfeffernussen with this dough!
  • Chocolate – our favourite chocolate recipe is in our LCF cookbook – Nutty Chocolate – or if you don’t have the book use this recipe and get creative with fillings!
  • White Chocolate Berry Bark – GAPS & Paleo friendly recipe (click on link and scroll down page)
  • Rapadura & Maple Syrup Butter Toffee – my kids’ favourite Christmas time treat, perfect for a little treat in Christmas stockings, or for gifts


  • Raw Macadamia Lime Cheesecake (dairy free) – a Quirky Cooking classic, loved by thousands of people the world over! If you’ve never tried it, you need to!!
  • Lemon Berry Trifle (gluten free, grain free) – this quirky trifle is a healthier version of traditional trifle, but don’t be scared off – it’s always been a hit at every party I’ve taken it to!
  • Strawberry Jelly Pie (gluten free, grain free) – beautiful, bright red, strawberries-in-jelly filling with an almond meal pastry
  • Coconut Vanilla Sorbet (dairy free) – this sorbet is very refreshing, great for a hot Christmas day, served alongside pie or fresh berries
  • Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse – simple to make, and an impressive dessert served in crystal glasses with fresh berries on top!
  • And of course our Paleo Christmas Cake, recipe below!
Paleo Christmas Fruit Cake, Quirky Cooking



We hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends, plenty of delicious, wholesome food, and some time out to rest and recover from a busy year. Please post some photos of your Christmas cooking in our Quirky Cooking Chat Group or tag #quirkycooking or #lifechangingfood on Instagram, we’d love to see what you make! 😀

Love from Jo, Fouad and the team at Quirky Cooking xx

Paleo Christmas Fruit Cake

Spice up your Christmas with this delicious, grain free Christmas Cake!

Paleo Christmas Cake (Grain Free)
Write a review
  1. 100g Medjool dates, pitted
  2. 1 large orange, zest and juice (100g juice)
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 60g olive oil, macadamia oil or coconut oil
  6. 600g dried fruit, preservative and oil free, chopped finely (eg. sultanas, raisins, apricots, cranberries and figs)
  7. 100g whole pecans
  8. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  9. 1 tsp ground ginger
  10. 1 tsp nutmeg
  11. 1 tsp mixed spice
  12. ¼ tsp salt
  13. 200g almond meal
  14. 100g (approx) blanched almonds or pecans, to decorate
Thermomix Method
  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC.
  2. Grease and line a 22cm round cake tin.
  3. Place pitted dates into TM bowl and chop 3 sec/speed 6.
  4. Add orange zest and juice, eggs, vanilla and oil and mix 5 sec/speed 4.
  5. Add fruit, pecans, spices, salt and almond meal and mix 10 sec/Reverse/speed 4.
  6. Scrape edges of bowl and mix 5 sec/Reverse/speed 4.
  7. Pour into prepared cake tin and decorate with blanched almonds.
  8. Bake 1 ¼ -1 ½ hours (check by inserting skewer into cake after 1 ¼ hours) on the middle rack of the oven.
  9. Cool in tin before serving.
Conventional Method
  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC.
  2. Grease and line a 22cm round cake tin.
  3. Chop pitted dates finely in a food processor or by hand.
  4. Mix together chopped dates, orange zest and juice, eggs, vanilla and oil in a large bowl or food processor, until well combined.
  5. Add fruit, pecans, spices, salt and almond meal and mix until combined.
  6. Pour into prepared cake tin and decorate with blanched almonds.
  7. Bake 1 ¼ -1 ½ hours (check by inserting skewer into cake after 1 ¼ hours) on the middle rack of the oven.
  8. Cool in tin before serving.
Quirky Cooking



  1. Annabelle says:

    Any chance anyone has tried this egg free?

  2. Heidi Holt says:

    Oh Jo and Fouad!! Thank you thank you for all of these paleo and gluten free recipes for Christmas! I cannot Wait get into the kitchen and start cooking now. Mwah!

  3. Jen Crawford says:

    Hi Jo. Thank you for your beautiful recipes. I was wondering how far ahead the cake can be made and how long it will keep for? Have a lovely Christmas. Jen

  4. Nancy says:

    Would that be 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract?

  5. Therese says:

    I had a piece of this cake made by my daughter in law! it was so delicious , I’m off to get the ingredients to make it now!

  6. Karen says:

    Hey Jo, I have made the same Womens Weekly cake for over 30 years up until 3 years ago when I gave up grains and have not made one since, but your Paleo Christmas Cake will be the start of a new tradition. Fabulous!

  7. Selina says:

    How long will this cake keep for Jo? Thank you

  8. Tracey says:

    Made this cake today, it’s so easy to make. It’s in the oven now, wish I could share a pic. Thanks Jo for all your grain free, dairy free recipes, Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Yay Tracey! What did you think of the cake? 🙂 Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas too. xx (PS – feel free to share pics on Facebook or instagram)

  9. Sarah Pearce says:

    Hello beautiful Jo. Can you make the grain free dough a few days before using for the Choc hazelnut tree?

  10. Jacquelyn says:

    Thank you for giving me back Christmas cake! My mum has a tradition of making boozy Christmas cakes so it doesn’t seem like Christmas without drunken raisins- so I snuck in brandy to soak the fruit instead of orange juice – delicious!!

  11. Naomi says:

    Thanks for this recipe Jo. I made this cake for my dad. My mum who recently passed away would make fruit cake often. He loved it and loves that it’s a healthy version. Have you ever tried soaking the fruit in brandy or rum? It would make it quite wet tho wouldn’t it…maybe just add some more almond meal do you think?

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Naomi, glad your dad loved the cake. 🙂 Yes, you can soak the fruit first (soak overnight to soak up the brandy/rum). It is very moist so you could add a little more almond meal but it’s not necessary. xx

  12. Kerri says:

    I made this and it was absolutely wonderful. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *