I love Christmas cake. Sadly most of my family are not fans of rich dense fruit cakes, so I rarely make them any more. Instead, I have been baking mini fruit cakes for the past few years. I pop them in the freezer and then those of us that enjoy fruit cake can have an individual fruit cake with our coffee. They are also the perfect size to package up as little gifts or to leave out for Father Christmas
What I love about these Mini Fruit Cakes is that they are light and you can use your favourite dried fruits. This year I have made them with sultanas, dates, and dried apricots. We usually serve them dusted with icing sugar. This year I have added a sugar snowflake with a drop of royal icing (found at Weigh ‘n Pay).
Mini Fruit Cakes
1 cup of sultanas
3/4 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup orange juice (or brandy)
150 g (5 oz) butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all spice
Place the sultanas, dates, apricots and orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat and stir for approx 6 minutes, or until fruit is plump and liquid has absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 140 deg C (285 deg F). Place butter and sugar in bowl of electric mixer and beat for 8 minutes or until light and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Place the fruit, flour, bicarb soda, and spices in a large bowl and mix well. Add butter mixture and stir to combine.
Divide mixture between 12 hole muffin tin, lined with baking cases. Cook for 30 – 35 minutes. Allow to cool in tins.