I don't know about you, but as much as I love Christmas food, it can all get a bit much at this time of year. Sometimes I want something a little lighter than the traditional heavy fruitcakes and steamed puddings... and yet I can't quite give up the excuse to eat boozy fruit.
These mini sponge cakes are made from a lighter mixture than the traditional British fruitcake, but they're still jam-packed with the essential ingredients of fruit, nuts, spices, and festive spirits. (Though if you can't have alcohol, you could skip that stage and just soak the fruit in a little water instead.) The recipe is also vegan.
I used a selection of fruit and sugars from the Traidcraft store, so these were almost entirely Fairtrade fruitcakes. Although I often buy fairly-traded products, this was the first time I've used the online store, and I'd definitely consider it again - the quality was great and it was convenient to have my pantry replenished with a couple of clicks. (And I might have slipped a few Divine chocolates in with my order. Maybe.)
Light Christmas Fruitcakes
2tbsp dark rum
100g (4oz, ⅔ cup) raisins
50g (2oz, ⅓ cup) apricots
50g (2oz, ½ cup) candied orange peel
50g (2oz, ⅓ cup) walnuts
50g (2oz, ⅓ cup) brazil nuts350g (12oz, 2 cups) plain flour
110g (4oz, ½ cup) golden caster sugar
110g (4oz, ⅓ cup) dark muscovado sugar
1tbsp mixed spice
2tsp baking powder
240ml (8 fl.oz, 1 cup) water
120ml (4 fl.oz, ½ cup) sunflower oil
- The night before baking, chop the apricots, then combine along with the raisins, rum, and brandy in a small bowl. Cover and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).
- Chop the cherries and nuts into small pieces (and the same for the candied peel if you have big slices), and combine with the raisins and apricots.
- Sift together the flour, sugars, spices, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the water and oil, and stir until no dry flour remains.
- Add the fruit and nuts to the batter, and mix until evenly distributed.
- Divide the batter between 18 mini cake tins, leaving space for the mixture to rise (remember that this is a sponge cake rather than a dense fruit cake).
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack before serving.
- Optionally, you could cut a circle of marzipan and/or sugarpaste icing for the top (see below).
|I'm submitting this recipe to December's Calendar Cakes round-up, hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes.|