Festive Food: Christmas Banana Bread Recipe

A traditional style Christmas boiled fruit cake only it’s vegan and healthier.

Boiled fruit Christmas cake is a huge part of Christmas tradition in my family; from the day the Christmas decorations go up in our house, and sometimes even before that, my mum starts baking her cakes and the smell of boiled fruit and spiced cake wafts through the house. 

A few days before Christmas we cut into the first cake, and when we were younger, we would even leave out a slice for Santa Claus. A slice of boiled cake with a little bit of butter is normally my breakfast on Christmas morning; it is equally delicious warmed up with a bit of hot custard and a dollop of cream. Whatever way you choose to eat it, Christmas is not Christmas without a boiled fruit cake in my eyes. 

Last year I gave the tradition a modern twist however, by creating a vegan version of my mother’s traditional recipe; done in the style of a banana bread, this recipe brings the best of both, capturing the taste and flavour of a traditional boiled cake with a banana bread base.

Boiled cake is best when allowed to sit for a few days after baking before eating, so I recommend you make up one before the weekend so it’s perfect in time for Christmas Eve.

Festive Food: Christmas Banana Bread Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A traditional style Christmas boiled fruit cake only it's vegan and healthier.
Recipe type: Christmas
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 1 loaf cake
  • 75g vegan butter
  • 75g coconut sugar
  • 90ml water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 150g sultanas
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2-3 tbsp soya milk
  • 112g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
You will also need:
  • 1 loaf tin greased
  • baking parchment
  1. Melt the butter and sugar together with the water and lemon juice over a low heat.
  2. Add the sultanas and bring the mixture to a boil; lower the heat and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile blend together the banana and soya milk into a smooth paste.
  4. Sieve the flour, baking soda, spices and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a 'well' in the centre and add in the banana paste and boiled fruit mix. Use a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients together.
  5. Add the cake mix to the greased loaf tin and use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Cut a piece of baking parchment to fit loosely on top of the cake mix, this will prevent the top of the cake from burning during baking but still allow it to rise.
  6. Place the cake in a preheated oven at 160°C for 50 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and peel away the baking paper (you may wish to add an optional dash of brandy at this point); allow to cool fully before removing from the tin. For best results, wrap in clingfilm and store in a cool, dry cupboard for a few days before cutting.

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