These stunning Christmas mini cakes make fabulous gifts and serve as a great alternative to a large cake if only a few of you want to indulge.
Christmas Mini Cakes
Preparation time 45 mins plus overnight soaking plus 30-60 mins decorating Baking time 45-60 mins Makes 5 For the cake mix:
- 250g mixed dried fruit
- 75ml brandy or rum (plus a little extra if you wish to ‘feed’ them once baked’)
- 110g soft dark brown sugar
- 110g soft butter
- 125g plain flour
- 2 large eggs
- 25g chopped nuts
- 25g glacé cherries, chopped
- Finely grated zest of 1 x orange
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 6 tbsp slightly warmed apricot jam
- 650g marzipan
- 3 tbsp brandy/rum
- 500-600g white sugar paste icing
- 250g red sugar paste
- Lustre dust/edible glitter (optional)
- Grease and line the bottom and sides of 5 small empty clean cans (the 200-220g size you get baked beans in). Allow up to 30 mins for this as it is a little bit fiddly but worth the effort!
- Prepare your fruit in advance by placing into a bowl and pouring over the brandy or rum, stirring, then leave covered with a tea towel to soak overnight. (If pushed for time, soak for at least 3 hours.)
- Preheat the oven to 160˚C/140˚C fan/gas mark 3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, spices, treacle and zest. Beat the mixture until well combined and smooth.
- Add the alcohol soaked fruit, then nuts and cherries and stir through.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins, levelling the tops with the back of a spoon.
- Bake the cakes for approx 40 mins before checking. They are cooked if a skewer comes out clear when inserted into the middle. Once cooked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly before gently removing from the tins. Tip: Open the bottom of the can to remove.
- Sit each one, still wrapped in greaseproof paper, on a piece of foil big enough to completely wrap each cake in. If you are wanting to feed the cakes with more alcohol, skewer a few holes on the top and drizzle on a tsp of brandy or rum. Wrap the cake in foil and store in a cool place until ready to ice. Leave for up to 1 week.
- To decorate, roll out the marzipan a little bigger than the entire surface area of the cake and about 0.5cm thick. Brush the cake with the warmed apricot jam. Drape the marzipan over, gently smooth it to fit and trim the edges where necessary.
- Repeat this with the white sugar paste. Brushing the marzipan with a very light coating of brandy or rum will help the paste to adhere.
- To make the star decoration, cut several different sized stars from white and red paste. We used a stitching tool along the edges to give a handmade look. Allow the stars to dry slightly then create piles of stars in alternating colours and point placement. Either use edible glue or a little water brushed on the stars to secure them in place.
- Finishing touches can include glitter or lustre dust and a ribbon. Place them on a small cake board or plate. Add a box and a bit of ribbon to make them gift ready. Make sure they are stored in an airtight container or the icing will go soggy.
TIP: * Make the cakes your own by customising the decoration, remembering, less is always more.