Christmas cake cupcakes recipe

(60 ratings)

These Christmas cake cupcakes have a generous marzipan topping and a simple iced decoration on top.

Christmas cake cupcakes
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time45 mins
Total Time1 hours 15 mins plus overnight soaking
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories211 Kcal11%
Sugar19.3 g21%
Fat8.4 g12%
Saturated Fat3.9 g20%
Protein3.3 g7%
Carbohydrates25.4 g10%

Our Christmas cake cupcakes are like mini versions of the classic festive bake but they only take 30 minutes to prepare. 

For the best results with the cupcake recipe, we recommend soaking the fruit the night before as it gives a richer flavour. Use your choice of brandy, whisky or rum, or keep it booze free and soak the fruit in tea instead. 


  • 375g mixed fruit – dried cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots, dates
  • 5tbsp brandy, whisky or rum
  • 80g butter
  • 75g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 medium free range eggs
  • zest 1 orange
  • ½tsp mixed spice
  • 90g plain flour
  • ½tsp baking powder
  • 200g marzipan
  • Apricot glaze (or honey), to brush
  • Writing icing, to decorate




  • Mix fruit and alcohol, cover and leave to soak overnight.
  • Heat the oven to 150C (130C fan, Gas 2). Line a muffin tin with two paper cases in each hole or buy thick cases. Alternatively, prepare a baking sheet with 12 silicone cupcake or muffin moulds.
  • Whisk butter until pale, add sugar and beat again. Mix in the fruit, eggs, zest and mixed spice. Sift in the flour and baking powder, stir well.
  • Spoon into cases and bake for about 45 minutes, until just firm and slightly springy to the touch. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the cases. Roll out marzipan to the thickness of a £1 coin, cut out 12 circles, each slightly smaller than the cake. Use a fluted or plain cutter. Brush each cake with some apricot jam or honey, then add a marzipan circle. Using writing icing, draw a freehand holly leaf, or other festive pic on top – have a practice run on a plate first. Then the cakes are ready to serve.

Top tips for making Christmas cake cupcakes

Store these cakes in an airtight container, and use within a month. If storing for longer than a few days, return to the silicon cases to prevent drying out. If you'd like more decoration ideas, continue reading below. 

How do you pipe a Christmas tree on a cupcake?

A minimalist Christmas tree icing design is a little easier to achieve than the free-hand holly leaf and makes an excellent choice for beginners. Starting at the bottom of your cupcake, draw a continuous line of icing from right to left, working your way up and making slightly shorter lines as you go up.

You essentially want to draw a triangle or pyramid-like shape. You can then top the icing tree with a star decoration or some sprinkles if you like. 

How to decorate Christmas cupcakes?

If you’d like an even simpler design, simply sprinkle the marzipan topping with some edible glitter and tie a ribbon around the base of each cupcake. This always gives a festive feel. You could also make mini rosemary wreaths for each cupcake. Follow the instructions in our brandy Christmas cake recipe to see what we mean. 

What keeps Christmas cake moist?

Soaking the fruit means it becomes lovely and plump and this moisture is retained once baked in the cake too. Some people also feed their Christmas cake with more booze or a cake soak made from sugar syrup and tea to keep the cake moist. We would avoid doing this with your cupcakes as they might become too sweet or boozy. 

However, if you liked you could pour over a little orange or lemon sugar syrup after the cakes are baked, similar to how you would a lemon drizzle cake. 

To make sure you’ve rolled the marzipan to the correct thickness, we recommend grabbing one of our best kitchen gadgets under £50 - an adjustable rolling pin! 

Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin - View at Amazon 

Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin - View at Amazon 

This rolling pin helps take the guesswork out of whether you’ve rolled something to the correct thickness. It comes with removable discs to help you achieve thicknesses of either 2mm, 44mm, 6mm or 10mm. Not only is it great for rolling marzipan, it can also be used for pastry, pizza dough and biscuits. 

Try our easy Christmas cake if you’d prefer a big cake to slice and share. Alternatively, this Mary Berry Christmas cake is very popular or the Mary Berry Christmas pudding is another festive classic. 

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.