Mini Christmas Cakes with brandy-soaked mixed dried fruit and topped with a smooth orange icing, a delicious festive dessert recipe that goes wonderfully well with everyone in the family. The fruit cakes, or Christmas muffins are a lot quicker to bake than the traditional Christmas cake, they out of the oven in just 30 minutes, and are super easy to make.
The season of indulgence is upon us. And nothing screams Christmas better than a festive fruit cake that is rich, boozy and overly scrumptious. My easy Christmas Fruit Cake is always a big hit with us, and I always include it to my Christmas treats list.
So I decided to adapt it to individual cakes, or Christmas muffins that are a lot easier to serve, and are mess free - easy to grab wherever you are.
Bonus point, these mini Christmas cakes are ready in 30 minutes, rather than 90 minutes, which is the quickest baking time for a traditional Christmas cake.
So, a big win for me, as I you know, I prefer quick and easy recipes with little effort, but maximum flavours.
Regular festive fruit cakes always seem way too sweet for my taste buds, and the addition of marzipan and rolled icing make it sickly sweet to point where all you can taste is sugar.
So for my mini fruit cakes I opted for a lighter icing sugar and orange juice icing that is a lot easier to spread and it looks really pretty too. You can top the cakes with Christmas figures or sprinkles too, but that's optional.
- flour - I used plain flour here
- butter - soft, at room temperature
- baking powder - they make the cakes a lot lighter
- mixed spice - or you can use pumpkin spice is you are in the US
- brandy-soaked dried fruit - they can be found in most large supermarkets at this time of the year
- dark brown sugar
- eggs - at room temperature
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- in a large bowl, add the dark brown sugar and soft butter, and use a hand mixer to cream them together
- add the eggs one by one mixing well after each addition
- sift in the flour and baking powder, give it a good mix, then add the boozy dried fruit and mixed spice and mix again
- line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases, and divide the batter evenly between each case
- bake in the preheated oven at 170 degrees Celsius (340 Fahrenheit) for 25-30 minutes or until the muffins are firm to touch and a skewer inserted in the oven comes out clean
- leave them to cool completely before peeling the paper cases off
- to make the icing, sift the icing sugar, add the orange juice, and mix well to get a smooth paste
- top each muffin with a teaspoon of the icing and decorate with sugar figures if you wish
If you don't find the brandy-soaked dried fruit, you can use any brandy or rum you have around. Add the dried fruit to a pan together with 150 ml (5oz) brandy, and leave them to simmer for 10 minutes on a medium heat until the fruit soaks up the liquid.
Most recipes call for the dried fruit to soak up for days on end, but my method is quick, easy and failproof - I used it for my classic Christmas cake recipe and it worked really well.
Double up the amount of ingredients if you are baking for a larger party - the recipe can be easily tweaked to one's liking.
Make sure you cakes are cooled down well before adding the icing, otherwise it will run off the cakes and make a pretty big mess too.
Other Christmas cake recipes
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Mini Christmas Cakes
- 500 g brandy-soaked dried fruit
- 125 g dark brown sugar
- 125 g butter, soft
- 125 g plain flour
- 4 medium eggs
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
For the icing
- 150 g icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
- 1 ½ tablespoon orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340 degrees Fahrenheit).
- In a large bowl, add the brown sugar and butter, and use a hand mixer to cream them together.
- Add the eggs one by one, beating well after every addition.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder, and use a spatula to bring everything together.
- Add the dried fruit and mixed spice, and mix well to have all the ingredients incorporated.
- Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases, and divide the mixture evenly.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is firm and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and leave them to cool completely.
- To make the icing, sift the icing sugar, and add the orange juice to it.
- Mix well to get a smooth, lump-free paste.
- Use a teaspoon of the mixture to top each cake, it looks even better if the icing runs a bit down the sides.
- You can also decorate them with any sprinkles, Christmas edible figures or anything else that takes your fancy.
- Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
- The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.
- If you don't find the brandy-soaked dried fruit, you can use any brandy or rum you have around. Add the dried fruit to a pan together with 150 ml (5oz) brandy, and leave them to simmer for 10 minutes on a medium heat until the fruit soaks up the liquid.
- Most recipes call for the dried fruit to soak up for days on end, but my method is quick, easy and failproof - I used it for my classic Christmas cake recipe and it worked really well.
- Double up the amount of ingredients if you are baking for a larger party - the recipe can be easily tweaked to one's liking.
- Make sure you cakes are cooled down well before adding the icing, otherwise it will run off the cakes and make a pretty big mess too.
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