Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Mini Christmas Cakes

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a wonderful break and I also hope everyone over-indulged in all of the beautiful foods that we only seem to rustle up at this time of year.  Turkey, brussels, pigs in blankets and chocolate oranges are all just some of my weaknesses.  The bathroom scales have been hidden until further notice.

I decided to go for mini christmas cakes this year as I thought they would make nice gifts as well as nice puddings.

I followed a wonderful recipe for the fruitcakes which I found on the trusty BBC Good Food site. 

200g dark muscovado sugar
175g butter , chopped
700g luxury mixed dried fruits
50g glacé cherries
2 tsp grated fresh root ginger (I used ground ginger)
zest and juice 1 orange
100ml dark rum , brandy or orange juice
85g/3oz pecan nuts, roughly chopped (I used flaked almonds)
3 large eggs , beaten
85g ground almonds
200g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon

Tip the sugar, butter, dried fruit, whole cherries, ginger, orange zest and juice into a large pan. Pour over the rum, brandy or juice, then put on the heat and slowly bring to the boil, stirring frequently to melt the butter. Reduce the heat and bubble gently, uncovered for 10 mins, stirring every now and again to make sure the mixture doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan. Set aside for 30 mins to cool.

Stir the nuts, eggs and ground almonds into the fruit, then sift in the flour, baking powder and spices. Stir everything together gently but thoroughly. Your batter is ready.

Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Scoop the cake mix into 12 deep muffin cases (an ice-cream scoop works well), then level tops with a spoon dipped in hot water. Bake for 35-45 mins until golden and just firm to touch. A skewer inserted should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

I learnt for next time, to flatten the batter as much as possible while it's in the cupcake case as these cakes don't rise very much and so you end up with quite an uneven top, which is fine if you don't want to ice them.  I ended up slicing off the odd bit here and there and really using my smoother to get my icing flat.

To ice the cakes, I rolled out my sugarpaste and then used a cookie cutter to cut out rounds that were roughly the same size as my cake.  I then let down some sugarpaste and placed a small amount on top of the fruitcake. Next, I carefully placed my circle of icing on top and used my smoother to gently flatten it.

Of the people that i knew would be eating my christmas cakes, about half loved marzipan and about half hated it and so, as I'm not particularly partial to it myself, I decided to leave it out.  If you're making these and want to add marzipan, all you would need to do would be to layer your sugarpaste on top of your rolled out marzpian before cutting out your circles and it should stick.

Finally, I decorated the tops of my cakes with snowflakes and holly which I had cut out and left to dry a few days before using my lovely new plunger cutters.

I was absolutely delighted with how these came out!  They tasted fantastic and because they're fruit cake (as long as you brush them with alcohol every few days and keep them in an air tight container) they are incredibly soft and moist. Not forgetting how pretty they look too!


  1. And they were absolutely out-of-this-worldly delicious! Another great creation Amy x

  2. I've got 2 left. If you clean my house you can have one xx