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Luxurious Festive Cupcakes

December 13, 2013 by Lally

I was lacking in inspiration to get me in the festive mood and after being invited to a small last minute gathering and needing to bring something, I thought festive cupcakes would be a good idea. These cupcakes are a fun twist on the traditional British Christmas cake and make great little gifts. They are perfect for those who, like me, find the typical marzipan and icing too heavy and sweet but want to enjoy the fruity spicy taste of this seasonal cake.



For this recipe I experimented with using mince pie ‘mincemeat’ filling with extra raisins to add a bit of luxury, but you can replace this with mixed dried fruit.


My festive cupcakes had a great response from all with the usual ‘mmmmm’ sounds along with 2 separate joking comments regarding the possible calorie content. One comment being, after one bite: “well that’s about 1000 calories!”. But if you can’t indulge at this time of year, when can you?

For 12 cupcakes:

Cake mixture:

125g butter

100g brown sugar

2 tsp finely grated orange rind

2 eggs

200g raisins

300g mince pie filling

60g chopped walnuts

80ml fresh orange juice75g plain flour

75g self-raising flour

You can replace the raisins and mince pie filling with 500g dried mixed fruit and 1/4 tsp each of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Put the oven on to 170˚C to preheat.

  1. Use an electric whisk to beat the butter, sugar and orange rind in a bowl until smooth
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one is added.
  3. Stir in the mince pie filling, raisins (or dried fruit), walnuts and orange juice.
  4. Sieve the 2 types of flour and mix in well.
  5. For even sized cakes, use a 50ml measuring spoon to put the mixture into paper cases placed in a cupcake tin.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcakes are firm to touch. Leave in the tin to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely


Icing mixture:

170g butter

250g icing sugar

2 tsp finely grated orange rind

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp orange juice (or Cointreau for grown ups)

1. Mix the butter, sieved icing sugar, orange rind and honey with an electric whisk.

2. Add the orange juice (or Cointreau) to loosen up the mixture. It needs to be a thick consistency, but not too loose or solid. You can add more juice or icing sugar to make more thin or thick as required.

3. Use a piping bag and medium size nozzle, swirl the icing onto the cooled cakes.

4. Decorate with seasonal sprinkles (I used gold stars, red and white sprinkles, red and green M&Ms/Smarties and not forgetting edible/non toxic glitter!

5. Enjoy and have a great festive season!



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