I have been making these mini Christmas cakes for about 5 years now and they always go down very well with both my family and with the students at my Christmas cookery classes.
I took inspiration from Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Christmas cake with the addition of chestnut puree. I like the texture and earthy flavour of it in these cakes but leave it out if you wish.
I love these mini cakes for two reasons! Firstly, they are very quick and easy to make and don’t take weeks of planning in advance. You can decide to make them a couple of days before Christmas and make them at the drop of a hat! Secondly, I love individualising them for the various different members of my family. Sometimes I write everybody’s name on the top of each in icing.
If you are struggling to find mini cake tins, just do what I did and use empty tuna tins! I also use mini loaf tins too.
You can of course make just one large Christmas cake if you would prefer. If doing one cake, use a 9” tin and increase the baking time to 1 ½ hours.
(Makes 10-12 mini cakes)
110g Candied Peel
25g Crystallized Ginger
250g Light Muscovado Sugar
250g Chestnut Puree
Juice and Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 Lemon
3 Eggs, beaten
250g of Plain Flour
½ Teaspoon of baking powder
¼ Teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon of ground cloves
¼ Teaspoon of ground nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon of mixed spice
Apricot jam, smooth
1 pack of marzipan or homemade almond paste
1 pack of ready to roll icing
- Place the sultanas, raisins, candied peel, dates, apricots, currants and crystallized ginger into a bowl.
- Pour sherry over and mix thoroughly
- Pre-heat the oven to 150˚C , 140˚C Fan, Gas mark 2
- Grease the mini cake tins and line with grease proof paper
- Place the fruit into a wide bottomed pot with the sugar, butter, chestnut puree, orange juice and zests
- Bring to the boil gently and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then
- Turn off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes
- Add the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and ginger and stir
- Add the beaten eggs
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins
- Bake for 1 hour, checking regularly as the length of time depends on the size of your cake tins
- Check the cakes are ready by inserting a skewer, if it comes out clean they are ready, if the skewer comes out wet they need to be returned to the oven
- When they are ready, leave to cool and then remove from the tins.
- To decorate the cakes, heat the apricot jam and brush onto the cakes
- Warm the marzipand a little in your hands to make it pliable, but no too much or it will start to seep oil
- Roll out the marzipan with a little icing sugar if it is sticky
- Cut out the shape of the cake in the marzipan and place a the marzipan on the top
- Roll out the icing and using the tins you have made the cakes in, cut out the icing so that it is bigger than the cake (allowing enough for the side of the cakes to be covered)
- Place the icing over the cake and tuck in at the bottom, trimming as necessary.
Decorate however you wish!