Muffin-sized, brandy-infused mini Christmas cakes brimming with dried fruit and glace cherries.
Made with a simple all-in-one fruit cake mix, this recipe is far less time-consuming than a traditional Christmas cake recipe. They are also lighter and much less dense than a classic fruit cake. If you prefer your Christmas cake this way, then the recipe can easily be made into a full-sized cake. For an alternative to icing, top with blanched almonds, pecans, sliced dried apricots, and mixed coloured glacé cherries, then glaze with a little warmed honey or syrup.
- 175g butter, softened
- 175g light soft brown sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 175g self-raising flour
- ½tsp baking powder
- 2tsp ground mixed spice
- 115g mixed dried fruit
- 2tbsp brandy or orange juice
- 115g icing sugar
- 1-2tbsp hot water
- 12 glace cherries
- Holly leaves, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Thoroughly grease a non-stick 12-hole muffin tray and place a circle of baking paper in the base of each hole.
Place the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and mixed spice in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand-held mixed for 3-4 mins until pale and creamy. Fold in the dried mixed fruit and brandy or orange juice.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tray. Bake for 25-30 mins until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Leave in the tray for 3-4 mins then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in enough of the warm water to make a smooth and thick icing. Spoon the icing onto the top of the cakes, letting it slowly drizzle down the sides. Top each cake with a glace cherry and a couple of holly leaves. Leave to set.
Top tips for making these mini Christmas cakes
Tie each mini Christmas cake in a festive ribbon for extra impact. To give the cakes a boozier flavour, soak the dried fruit in 2 tbsp rum or brandy for 1-2 hrs before adding to the sponge mixture.