• Tis the season! These delightful mini Christmas cakes are sure to make your holiday jollier, and are perfect for decorating place settings at the Christmas dinner table. The fruity cake mixture is perfectly spiced and not overly sweet, and you can buy ready-made plastic icing for the stars on top. Happy holidays!

    Mini Christmas cakes

    Serves: 12 small cakes
    Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins + overnight, to macerate


    • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
    • 350g cake fruit mixture
    • 50g dates, pitted and chopped
    • rind of 1 naartjie
    • rind of 1 lemon
    • 125ml (½ cup) brandy + 30ml (2 tbsp) extra
    • 125g cake flour
    • a pinch of salt
    • 5ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
    • 5ml (1 tsp) mixed spice
    • 100g softened butter
    • 100g (½ cup) brown sugar
    • 3 extra large eggs
    • 300g ready-made plastic icing, to decorate



    Place the apple, cake fruit mixture, dates, naartjie and lemon rinds in a bowl. Pour over the 125ml (½ cup) brandy and macerate overnight.


    Preheat the oven to 140°C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm x 20cm cake tin with 2 sheets of baking paper.


    Sift the dry ingredients 3 times and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating continuously. Halfway through adding the eggs add 30ml (2 tbsp) of the sifted dry ingredients – this prevents the mixture from splitting.


    Fold in the remaining dry ingredients and soaked fruit mixture, and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake until cooked through, 60 – 75 minutes.


    Pour the 30ml (2 tbsp) brandy over the cake as it comes out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin.


    When the cake has completely cooled, use a serrated knife to cut it into 12 squares. Wrap the sides of the cakes with white ribbon and then a smaller ribbon.


    Roll out the plastic icing on a clean work surface. Cut out 12 small stars and brush each star with a little water. Stick the stars on top of each mini cake and place the cakes at each table placing. These are great as a Christmas favour.