Mini Christmas cakes recipe

(1547 ratings)

These mini Christmas cakes are ready in 45 minutes and are under 350 calories per cake.

Set of nine mini Christmas cakes with drizzle icing and holly decoration
(Image credit: aul Bradforth / Alamy Stock Photo)
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories316 Kcal16%
Sugar33.6 g37%
Fat13.5 g19%
Saturated Fat8 g40%
Salt0.43 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein3.4 g7%
Carbohydrates44.5 g17%
Salt0.43 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Our mini Christmas cakes are easy to make with an all-in-one batter so there’s minimal washing up too! 

A great alternative festive bake to mince pies, these mini Christmas cakes are lovely for gifting or as any easy dessert. You’ll need 10 ingredients and 15 minutes to prepare the cakes. We’ve used brandy but you can swap for rum or whisky if you prefer or use orange juice or tea to make them booze-free. 


  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 115g mixed dried fruit
  • 2 tbsp brandy or orange juice
  • 115g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp hot water
  • 12 glace cherries
  • Icing Holly leaves, to decorate




  1. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). Thoroughly grease a non-stick 12-hole muffin tray and place a circle of baking paper in the base of each hole (or use muffin liners).
  2. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and mixed spice in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand-held mixer for 3-4 mins until pale and creamy. Fold in the dried mixed fruit and brandy or orange juice.
  3. 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.
  4. 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-shaped icing or marzipan leaves. Leave to set.

Top tips for making our mini Christmas cakes

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.

How early should you make a Christmas cake?

A traditional Christmas cake can be made at least three months before you want to serve it, more if you plan to feed it over the next few months. This means if you want to enjoy the cake on the 25 December, you can bake the cake in September. 

People like to bake them ahead because it gives the cake time to mature in flavour. It’s also an easy task to tick off your festive to-do list before the big day and helps you get ahead. 

However, these cakes don't require extra maturation or soaking and can be made the day ahead for best results. 

How can I make these cakes look more like miniature Christmas cakes?

For a straight sided cake rather than a mini muffin style, use a mini sandwich tin, or a mini square sandwich tin. You could also use a large square tin and cut into smaller squares if you don't have mini tins. 

You can decoration the tops with ready to roll marzipan and fondant icing for a traditional look. Tie a slim ribbon around the middle of each cake to finish if you like.

How do I keep mini cakes moist?

Keeping these cakes in an airtight container is vital if you want to stop them drying out. You can keep the tin in a cool, dry place, or store it in the fridge, but airtight is the key. To add in moisture, you can poke a couple of skewer holes in the top and brush with a little brandy.

If you don’t like the idea of rolling out and shaping some edible holly leaves, cheat and use some shop bought sprinkles instead. These ones from Waitrose & Partners are very cute but there are lots of supermarket options you can explore. 

Waitrose Sprinkles Holly & Berry 55g - View at Waitrose & Partners

Waitrose Sprinkles Holly & Berry 55g - View at Waitrose & Partners

These adorable sugar decorations look like mini holly leaves and berries. Perfect for all your festive bakes and suitable for vegetarians too.  

If you're looking to bake a full-size Christmas cake have a look at our favourites which include Mary Berry’s fruit cake and our easy Christmas cake recipe - tried and tested in the Woman's Weekly kitchen. We've also got plenty of Christmas cake ideas when it comes to decorating. 

Psst! Did you know that you can bake Christmas cake in an air fryer - and it'll save you a lot of time too - just in case you do fancy making one of our bigger fruit cakes?