This year I decided to bake a batch of mini Christmas cakes rather than one large one. I find that one big cake often gets left after Christmas and I’m a little fed up with eating it myself after January 1st! So small cakes seemed to be the best solution – and I can give a few mini-cakes away to my friends and family so they all have a little christmas treat too.
Ingredients: 525g currants, 225g sultanas, 225g raisins, 110g mixed peel, 165g glace cherries, 300g plain flour, pinch salt, ½ tsp mixed spice, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, 300g softened butter, 300g soft brown sugar, zest of ½ lemon, 6 large beaten eggs, 3 tbsp brandy.
Mix the currants, sultanas, raisins, peel and cherries with the flour, salt and spices. In bowl cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, stir in lemon zest and add the beaten egg a bit at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in half the flour and fruit mixture into the egg and butter mixture and when incorporated add the remaining flour and fruit. Finally add the brandy.
If you want to cook your christmas cake in a large cake tin, line it with greaseproof paper or grease a large muffin tin before adding the cake mixture. If you want to use muffin cases you can, or use a silicone muffin tray like I did so that the christmas cakes pop out easily. One large cake may take 4 hours to cook, but the smaller cakes will take a lot less time – around an hour. The cakes should be nicely risen and browned and when you insert a skewer or fine knife into the centre of the cake it should come out clean, without any sticky dough.
For the decoration, I used ready-made icing and marzipan and them into rounds to sit on top of the cakes – but you can cover the cake completely if you prefer. I brushed some edible glitter onto the white icing and cut out tiny stars for the top of each cake.
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