The “F” Word

Just when you thought it was safe to open up your home to visitors once again, now that the tinsel dust and artificial pine scent has settled, I’ve come to ruin your day. More of a curse than a gift, it’s a dubious “treat” that has gained (and quite frankly earned) little respect over centuries of unsavory history. Not to be rude or anything, but it’s time that I dropped the F-bomb.

Fruitcake. Pardon my language.

Yes, I know, head for the hills and don’t accept packages from strangers; I’m offering you a genuine fruitcake, of all things! Trust me, I’ve been a very vocal naysayer of this brick-like food substance, never having seen the benefit to preserving mysteriously colored fruits in a metric ton of sugar before binding them all up into an impenetrable, flavorless batter. Better employed as entertaining projectiles than food stuffs, I would gladly get out there on the field with all the other unlucky fruitcake recipients as well. But, not with this new spin on the concept.

Rummaging through a pantry overstuffed with odd ingredients, I discovered an abundance of so-called “superfoods” that had no clear destination, and little use outside of random nibbles. Instead of simply frittering them away through impulse snacking, such special ingredients deserved a greater end. Baked up into a lighter cake than the traditional take, the crumb stays impossibly moist and does indeed only get better with age. Enhanced with the complex, caramel nuances of coconut sugar, volumes of flavor can shine through without the sticky veil of syrupy sweetness. Kombucha, with its very faintly alcoholic buzz, takes the place of harder liquor or rum here, so even teetotalers can indulge with abandon.

Of course, consider the exact superfruits and nuts listed here merely suggestions. As long as you throw in 1 1/2 – 2 cups of dried mix-ins in addition to the pomegranate arils, your cake will be golden… Literally, once baked.


1/2 Cup Fresh Pomegranate Arils
1/2 Cup Goji Berries
1/2 Cup Dried Mulberries
1/4 Cup Dried Goldenberries
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/4 Cup Cacao Nibs
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1/2 Teaspoon Orange Zest
1/2 Cup Kombucha, Divided
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted
2/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
2 Tablespoons Molasses
1 (3.5-Ounce) Packet Frozen Acai Puree, Thawed (or Applesauce, in a Pinch)

Confectioner’s Sugar, To Serve (Optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 6-inch round, 3-inch high cake pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the pomegranate arils, all of the dried superfruits, walnuts and cacao nibs. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, and zest, tossing to coat all of the goodies.

Remove 2 tablespoons of the kombucha and set aside for later. Separately, whisk together the remaining kombucha, coconut oil, coconut sugar, molasses, and acai puree until fairly smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry, and stir with a wide spatula just until the batter comes together. A few lumps are fine, especially since it’s a fairly coarse mixture to begin with.

Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until golden brown all over and a toothpick inserted into the center pulls out mostly clean, with just a few moist crumbs clinging to the sides. Immediately pour the reserved kombucha evenly over the hot cake so that it can soak in as it cools. After cooling completely, the cake sit covered at room temperature, for at least 24 hours for the best results.

If you’d like a little pinch of additional sweetness, top with a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar right before serving.

Makes 6 – 8 Servings

Printable Recipe

21 thoughts on “The “F” Word

  1. The recipe looks good–only 1 question: What is kambucha? Is it the tea? Brewed or leaves? I’ve wanted a vegan fruitcake recipe for a while but the ones I found were unappetizing bricks!

  2. I actually like fruitcakes. they used to be a special (and tasted great) treat around christmas back home. No one baked in our house, so we would look forward to cakes and cookies in december. :) This almost is a healthy breakfast!

  3. Reblogged this on A Random Harvest and commented:
    To all you lovers of things coconut sugary, kombucha-ish and so on . . . not to mention fruitcake! MMMmmmmm It’s not to late to make one for next year; just be sure to anoint it liberally and regularly with brandy or the like . . . ;-) ~ Linne

  4. Love this recipe! have re-blogged it for my vegan and not so vegan followers . . . I did recommend anointing it with brandy or something like, though. Helps to preserve it ’til next Christmas . . . I have saved this recipe for my own use, too. Thanks for sharing it. ~ Linne

  5. Lovely, I never thought to add kombucha as a liquid to any Cake, I brew quite a bit :-) I added some Gogi Berries I had soaked to our Stuffing this year and it went down a treat..
    Hoped over from Linne’s Reblog.. :-) Thank you for this treat! :-)

  6. I LOVE the F word…I bandy it about all over the place, with tea, in HUGE wodges on its own and get very sad when I have to abstain from the F word because I just finished the last crumb…this looks positively F*&%ing AMAZING girl! You nailed that superfood UBER F word and made it your humble servant. I, too, am your humble servant. Your creative abilities to render humble ingredients into pure sparkly food gold surely need someone to elevate you to “Food Alchemist”? I bestow on you the title…henceforth you shall be known as Hannah Kaminsky, Food Alchemist for the great vegan unwashed! You rule girl :)

  7. […] is the year.  I have been foodgawking to become inspired and my heart skipped a beat when I found this version with kombucha! I’ll most certainly be using kombucha in mine as […]

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