An easy recipe for a gluten-free keto fruit cake, that tastes wonderfully nutty and rich without being cloyingly sweet.
I'm not sure why fruitcakes are so controversial. Admittedly some of them are very bad! Dense, heavy, filled with fake red-and- green-hued dried fruit. But when made right, I think they are absolutely delightful.
In fact, I like this cake so much, that I don't reserve it for the holidays. I make it year-round. I think it makes the perfect keto breakfast!
What makes a good keto fruit cake?
A good cake should not be dense, heavy or sickeningly sweet. It should definitely not be filled with fake-dyed "fruit."
It should be moist, yet light and fluffy. It should be gently flavored with vanilla and orange. And it should be dotted (but not overwhelmed by) real, non-dyed dried fruit and toasted nuts.
The ingredients needed to make this recipe
I try to keep all my recipes to ten ingredients or less. To make this cake, you will need the following ingredients (exact measurements are provided in the recipe card below):
Eggs: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
Unsalted butter: I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will work.
Vanilla extract: Try to use the real thing - pure vanilla extract - and not the artificially flavored stuff.
Sweetener: I use stevia glycerite. You can probably use a granulated sweetener instead.
Orange zest: Adds great flavor, so please don't skip it.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, use just ¼ teaspoon.
Almond flour: I use blanched finely ground almond flour in this recipe. I don't recommend a coarse almond meal. There's a difference.
Baking soda: Make sure it's fresh (it should last for a long time, though).
Dried cranberries: Just ½ cup, to make sure carbs stay low.
Chopped walnuts: They add wonderful flavor and a lovely crunch.
How to make a keto fruit cake
The recipe card below has the full details. Here are the basic steps:
Start by whisking together the eggs, butter, vanilla, stevia, orange zest, and kosher salt.
Add the almond flour and baking soda.
Fold in the cranberries and walnuts.
Pour the mixture into a loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes.
Why this recipe is better (IMHO)
My version is moist-yet-fluffy and very flavorful. The nuts get toasted as the cake bakes, and the dried cranberries melt into the sweet (but not overly so) batter.
I use dried fruit sparingly, to keep this cake as low carb as possible. And I prefer to use solely cranberries, because they are so pretty, and because I like to keep my recipes simple.
But obviously, you can replace the ½ cup of cranberries with any dried fruit you like. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions.
How to flavor the cake
I use vanilla and orange zest. My keto fruit cake does not contain cinnamon, because I don't want it to overwhelm and mask the other flavors.
And it does not contain alcohol, simply as a personal preference. But you can use brandy instead of the vanilla extract if you wish.
Is this cake appropriate on the keto diet?
I think it can be, as long as it's not a daily habit. You get a thin slice for 5 grams net carbs. This is not too bad, but my keto gingerbread cake is probably a better choice. You get a generous slice for 3 grams net carbs.
Speaking of thin slices, this is a very rich cake, so definitely cut it into thin slices. I cut mine into 14 slices.
How to store leftovers?
Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. I warm them slightly in the microwave before enjoying, just a few seconds per slice. You can also freeze individual slices, separate with wax paper squares.
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Keto Fruit Cake
- Avocado oil spray for pan
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons stevia glycerite (equals ½ cup sugar)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1½ cups blanched finely ground almond flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small loaf pan (8 X 4 inches) with two overlapping strips of parchment, allowing the strips to overhang on each end, creating handles (as shown in the video). Spray the parchment paper with oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, vanilla, stevia, orange zest and kosher salt.
- Add the almond flour, whisking it until very smooth. Whisk in the baking soda.
- Add the cranberries and walnuts, folding them in with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. The cake won't get very dark.
- Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then use the parchment “handles” to lift the cake out of the pan. Place the cake on the cooling rack, allow to cool 10 more minutes, then slice into 14 thin slices and serve.