These little fruit cakes are great to share and look gorgeous. It was so much fun to make these and the smells from the kitchen really warmed the house with rich spicy scent of Christmas.
I used these Kitchen Craft mini pudding bowls to make my puddings, which makes about 8 from the mixture. I also used a small holly cutter, like the smallest one from these Holly Shaped Cookie Cutters to cut the leaves. You’ll also need a large round pastry cutter, sharp pair of small scissors and a cake tester.
1hr 50mins (45 mins unattended) + prep night before (20 mins) – Prep time: 30mins – Cooking time: 1hr
- 25oz mixed fruit
- 11oz Plain Flour
- 8oz Butter
- 8oz Dark Brown Sugar
- 3oz Ground Almonds
- 3oz Glace Cherries – halved or quartered
- 2oz Candied peel, diced finely
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 Lemon – juice & rind
- 1 Orange – juice & Rind
- 10tbsp favourite alcohol, I used amareto but you can use more traditional rum or brandy
- 1 tbsp Black Treacle (warmed – stand tin in basin of v.hot water)
- 1tbsp apricot jam
- 3/4 tspn Mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate Of soda
- 1 tsp Vanilla essence
- 1 tsp Glycerine
- 1/2 pack marzipan
- Good pinch of Salt
- A little bit of flowerpaste or roll out icing
- Red and green food colouring
Oven temp: 140°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1
- Soak fruit, candied peel and cherries in lemon & orange rind and juice in a large bowl. Add 3 tbsp alcohol, then cover and leave, preferably OVERNIGHT.
- Roll out the flowerpaste and split in two. Make one half green, roll out and cut out small holly leaves (two per pudding). Make the other half red and make holly berries (two per pudding). Leave to harden, preferably overnight.
- Grease the tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper.
- Sieve flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk eggs.
- Cream butter, sugar, treacle then add vanilla essence and glycerine, gradually add eggs with a little flour to stop curdling.
- Fold in remaining flour, then ground almonds, add fruit and mix thoroughly.
- Turn into prepared tins and smooth tops with wet knuckles.
- Bake on the lower middle shelf for 45 mins – 1 hr. Keep testing with a testing spike should come out clean.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool in tin. Then turn out and remove greaseproof paper. I pricked the tops with a toothpick and poured 1tbsp alcohol onto each cake.
- Roll out 3mm thick piece of marzipan and cut out circles using the pastry cutter.
- Using the scissors, cut a wobbly edge to create drips. Using the rolling pin, roll out the marzipan topping to spread the drips out more, then stick on by brushing apricot jam onto the marzipan and positioning on top of the pudding.
- Take the hardened holly and gently poke one end into the centre of the pudding top, and stick the holly berries around their bases using a little more apricot jam.