Monday, 28 November 2016

Mini Christmas Cakes

Christmas cakes are an integral part of the festivities for many people.  Why not make some mini Christmas cakes to give to friends and family, either as a small gesture or as part of a delicious homemade foodie hamper. 

Homemade Mini Christmas Cakes, perfect for an easy to make edible gift.

Christmas, as we all know, is the season for giving.  Though, often it can be difficult choosing gifts for loved ones who seemingly have 'everything'.  They already have more than one bottle of their favourite perfume / aftershave, a bookshelf of novels by their favourite authors, and that chunky knit woolly jumper is folded away in the draw next to their seasonal one, decorated with Santa carrying a bunch of mistletoe!

For those friends and relatives why not present them with a hamper, large or small, full of delicious goodies.  Imagine that hamper packed with homemade goodies like relishes, chutneys, biscuits, cheeses, fudge, truffles and mini Christmas Cake.  Surely a homemade gift, that you've spent time and care over, that you've made yourself with love and finished off with a  Christmassy ribbon says 'Merry Christmas, I love you' far more than any unwanted gift hurriedly picked from a department store shelf.



Homemade Mini Christmas Cakes, perfect for an easy to make edible gift.

In fact, why reserve those gifts just for those who seemingly have everything.  I'm sure many others would love such a homemade hamper of edible delights!   I know I would!  To provide inspiration and whet your appetite, you will find a selection of delicious recipes from other food bloggers just before the recipe at the bottom of the post, perfect for a homemade Christmas food hamper.  

Homemade Mini Christmas Cakes, perfect for an easy to make edible gift.

For this very reason last week I made a batch of Mini Christmas Cakes, an integral part of the season's festivities in much the same way as Mince Pies, Stollen and Christmas Pudding are.  Measuring just 8cm in diameter these dinky cakes are still jam packed with flavour from the fruit and seasonal spice of cinnamon and mixed spice.

The batter for these small individual Christmas cakes is seriously easy to make.  There's no creaming or beating with stand mixers or wooden spoons (which can produce sore blisters -  I've had the war wounds in the past to prove it!)  The mixture itself is made using the melting method and produces a cake full of plump fruit which is fabulously moist and flavoursome.  In fact, the Christmas cake recipe which Mum and I have used for  many many years, which was passed down from Grandma, has been playing second fiddle for the past 2 years to this easier, moister, boiling recipe. 

Homemade Mini Christmas Cakes, perfect for an easy to make edible gift.

Although these small individual Christmas Cakes are nut and alcohol free, they are far from being flavour and aroma free.  I really wish you could have been in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen when they were lifted from the oven after the bake and then removed from their tinfoil and greaseproof paper jackets for their photo shoot yesterday afternoon.  After just 10 days of maturing they smelt absolutely amazing.  So, although I would ordinarily make our fruit cakes many many weeks in advance of Christmas, I'm confident that these mini Christmas Cakes will be absolutely delicious when eaten by the lucky recipient!

The Christmas Cake recipe below is sufficient to make 12 dariole / pudding mould sized cakes, but it can easily be adjusted to make fewer, or even more, as necessary.  It's just as easy to make a lot as it is a few with this easy recipe.  The quantities outlined below would also be ideal to fill a 16cm round (deep) cake tin or a 900g loaf tin if you prefer an oblong cake which is easier to slice....though of course the baking time will be increased (guidance for this can be found in the recipe notes).

Homemade Mini Christmas Cakes, perfect for an easy to make edible gift.

Although some people may prefer to eat their Christmas cake naked - the cake not the person I hasten to add  - Christmas Cakes, large or small, are ordinarily finished with marzipan and icing. Check out here how I decorated these mini Christmas cakes, though the ideas could easily be transferred to a larger cake.



Before we get onto the recipe, as promised, here are a handful of delicious homemade goodies from food bloggers which would be great as part of a Christmas hamper, sat alongside a Christmas cake of course!

Homemade food gift ideas

Homemade Chillie Sauce by Sarah at Tales from a Kitchen Shed.
Easy Peasy Christmas Star Biscuits from Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie
Baileys Pistachio & Cranberry Fudge by Claire at Foodie Quine.

Homemade food gift ideas

Amaretti Biscuits from Charlotte at Charlotte's Lively Kitchen
Cranberry, Hazlenut & Dark Chocolate Biscotti by Midge at The Peachick Bakery.
Coffee Truffles by Jacqueline at Recipes Made Easy.





So, let's get to it and bake Mini Christmas Cakes.








print recipe

Mini Christmas Cakes
Mini Christmas cakes are a perfect bake to make for friends and family, either as a small gesture or as part of a delicious homemade foodie hamper. 

Specific Equipment
    Dariole or Pudding Moulds measuring 8cm diameter
Details
Prep time: Cook time:     Yield: 12 mini cakes
Ingredients
  • 200g Butter, unsalted, plus extra for preparing the cake tin
  • 200g Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 200g Currants
  • 200g Sultanas
  • 200g Raisins
  • 100g Marmalade
  • 60g Glace Cherries, chopped
  • 160ml Water
  • 2 Large Egg, lightly beaten
  • 280g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground Mixed Spice

Method
1. Boil the fruit. Tip the butter, sugar, dried fruits, marmalade, cherries and water into the large heavy based pan. Place the pan on the hob over a low heat to slowly melt the butter and dissolve the sugar. Stir frequently. Once the sugar has dissolved and butter melted, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow the fruit mixture to simmer for 10 minutes stirring frequently. (Remember the mixture is very hot!)2. Allow to cool. After the ten minutes of simmering, turn off the heat and allow to cool for at least 3 or 4 hours.3. Prepare the baking tins tins. Grease and fully line the dariole / pudding mould tins with greaseproof paper.4. Pre-heat the oven to 160c / 140 fan / Gas 3. Place a low sided baking tray in the oven large enough to house your dariole / pudding moulds.5. Complete the cake mixture. Pour the fruit mixture into a large mixing bowl (or keep it in the pan if it is large enough to accommodate the flour and eggs). Add the almond extract. Gradually add the 2 large beaten eggs to the bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon after each addition. Add the cinnamon and mixed spice to the weighed flour. Sieve the flour and spice into the bowl and fold into the mixture with either a spatula or metal spoon.6. Fill the prepared baking tins. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins. Ensure the mixture is sat in the tin well with no air pockets. Level off the mixture with the back of the spoon and then make a slight indentation in the centre of the mixture to help ensure the cake doesn't develop a domed crust.7. Bake. Place the filled moulds onto the heated baking tray.  Sit the tray in the centre of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 140c / 120 fan / Gas 1 and bake for a further hour. You may need to rotate the tins 45 minutes through the bake. Test the cakes by placing a cake skewer through the centre of the cake. The cakes are ready when the skewer is clean when removed from the cake. 8. Cool. Remove the tins from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from the tins and allow them to finish cooling on the cooling rack. Leave the greaseproof paper in around the cakes.9. Wrap & store. Once the cakes are completely cool wrap them thoroughly with the greaseproof paper and tin foil. Store the cakes for at least two weeks to mature in an airtight tin, but the longer you can leave them the better.
Notes:
a)  Use a mixture of dariole and pudding moulds if that's what you have available, like us.  b) This quantity of batter will also be sufficient to fill a 16cm round (deep) cake tin or a 900g loaf tin (measuring 26cm x 13cm x 7cm), though of course the cooking duration will need to increase to a total of 2 hour 30 minutes - 2 hour 45 minutes. c)  The quantities are straight forward to scale up or down to make fewer or more cakes as desired.
  
















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Homemade Mini Christmas Cakes, perfect for an easy to make edible gift.





This post has been shared with:

Bake of the Week, co-hosted by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps and Helen at Casa Costello  

CookBlogShare Charlotte's Lively Kitchen - #TheFoodCalendar







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22 comments:

  1. Oh my with all those foodie goodies in I want a hamper!

    I cant wait to see how you have decorated your cakes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and me both Jacqui, it'd be so lovely to receive a homemade food hamper wouldn't it :-).
      It wont be long now before our decorated mini Christmas cakes appear on the blog,
      Angela x

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  2. Just perfect, here there are Christmas cake only fans. Cake with marzipan only or cake with everything on fans completely solves my dilemma thank you x

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    Replies
    1. You're more than welcome Debra. We're like that too, hubby likes his cakes naked (so to speak) whereas I love it with the marzipan and icing. Glad I could be of help :-)
      Angela x

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  3. What a lovely Christmas cake recipe Angela, I like the idea of boiling the fruit and simmering with the butter and sugar so much easier than the creaming method. Thanks for including my Homemade Chilli Sauce x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is a lot easier and it actually seems to produce a moister cake which doesn't need to be fed (I'm not a fan of alcohol in bakes personally). You're more than welcome, it's a lovely sounding recipe.
      Angela x

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  4. What a wonderful idea.They look gorgeous even naked!x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha :-) Just wait until they're fully dressed Jenny :-)
      Angela x

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  5. Mini Christmas cakes is such a great idea. I might do it this year. I love Christmas cake, it's delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh so do we Anca, all of that fruit and richness is lovely. We usually make it a couple of times in the year - for Christmas and birthdays and it's always well recieved and enjoyed. Do let me know how you get on with it if you give it a try.
      Angela x

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  6. I love making foodie hampers. You have reminded me I need to bake my Christmas cake! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

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    Replies
    1. It's great fun isn't it, squeezing all of those delicious goodies into the hamper for loved ones. Ooh you'll have to get your mixing bowl out soon Kirsty, though I'm confident this one would still be very good even if it was made just a week or two before Christmas actually arrives, it's so beautifully moist having been boiled.
      Angela x

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  7. Love the idea of making mini Christmas cakes - but it would never do for us. We manage to polish of a maxi one at lightning speed! I just adore Christmas cake. Thanks so much for including my star biscuits and thanks too for linking up to #CookBlogShare :-) Eb x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be honest Eb, they wouldn't be any good for us either, cos we too love our Christmas cake....but I was thinking of it being more of a gift gesture for perhaps those on their own etc. Or we could happily enjoy one mini one per day ;-) They certainly won't go to waste :-)
      You're more than welcome Eb, I love the simplicity of them and recipes suitable for baking with youngsters are always lovely :-)
      Angela x

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  8. These look so cute - I wish I liked Christmas cake #bakeoftheweek

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    Replies
    1. Awe what a shame Louise, though I do think fruit cake seems to be like marmite - love it or loath it! Thans for popping by and commenting though,
      Angela x

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  9. this is such a wonderful idea and if you are the only person in your house who likes a christmas cake, then a mini one would make the perfect size and then you can give some away as gifts. I really love your decorated cakes too Angela - they look amazing! thank you for linking up to Bake of the week and sorry i have taken so long to comment x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou Jenny, it really did prove to be a lovely size. A friend / neighbour that Mr E & I gave one of the cakes too commented on it the other day saying that he'd had a a few slices of it - so despite it's dinky size it still gives a few portions.
      Oh gosh, don't worry about that Jenny, the period before and after Christmas and New Year is always so manic for many of us.
      Thanks for your lovely comment, and Happy New Year,
      Angela x

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  10. Such a lovely Christmas present idea and much more thoughtful than something grabbed quickly from a department store. Thanks for including my Amaretti x

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    Replies
    1. Tjankyou Charlotte, I know I'd prefer it over a pair of boring socks! You're welcome, they look amazing, and one recipe I want to try,
      Angela x

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  11. I adore your Mini fruit cakes - I always intend on having a stash of mini cakes ready all year around to give as presents. There's truly nothing like receiving homemade food produce to make you feel loved! Thanks once again for joining in with #BakeoftheWeek - we are back after our winter break this Tuesday and hope you will be joining us once again x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou Helen :-) You're right, for a lot of people it's lovely to recieve homemade foods as a gift. And what a great idea to have some stacshed away throughout the year - especially as fruit cakes store so well. Ah, lovely, I'll be round tomorrow - it's a lovely linky :-)
      Angela x

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