Miniture Christmas cakes

I usually make these in September and feed them every couple of weeks, up till December, with a mixture of brandy, dark rum, and sloe gin, for a really boozy cake.

You’ll need 12 small (and empty) ‘half tins’ of baked beans, although you could also make one 8″ cake wih the same quantities

I like to make these as gifts, covered in icing and marzipan.


  • 1kg mixed dried fruit
  • 50g chopped glacé cherries
  • Brandy
  • Kraken rum
  • Sloe gin
  • 250g plain flour (sifted)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 250g dark brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 dessertspoon black treacle
  • 250g butter
  • 50g chopped almonds
  • zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange


Put the dried fruit into a bowl and add 50ml of brandy and 50ml of sloe gin. Mix well and cover the bowl with a cloth.
Leave to soak overnight.

The next day, put the flour, salt, spices, sugar, eggs, treacle, and spread, into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until thoroughly mixed.

You’ll need to get your hands dirty here. Add the pre-soaked fruit mixture, chopped nuts and the grated lemon and orange zest. Mix them in well.

Grease and line the tins and spoon the mixture evenly between them.

Wrap the tins in a double layer of greaseproof paper, covering the tops of the cakes.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 140 degrees for 60-90 minutes (4 hours if making the 8″ version) until they feel springy to the touch. Stick a skewer in and if it comes out clean, your cakes are ready. Times can vary, so you may need to cook for a bit longer, especially with the 8″ version.

Leave to cool before removing from the tins and skewering all over and feeding with a small drop of rum.

Wrap in greaseproof paper and store somewhere cool and dry. Feed every 2 weeks with a mixture of brandy, rum & gin.

If you want to decorate the cake with marzipan and icing, do this shortly before eating

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