Christmas cake bites

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This is just a simple variation on a Christmas cake, going for individual bites of cake rather than making a large cake. Inspired by Nigella Lawson’s puddinis (such a fabulous name!), which use left-over Christmas pudding, these instead use some of the Christmas cake mixture I made for this year’s Christmas cake: I simply increased the proportions a little to make these as well as the main Christmas cake! I also soak them in a little brandy a little to give a real kick.

About the recipe

The recipe for the full-sized Christmas cake, a family recipe I have used, with a few tweaks now and then, for many decades, is here.

For these cakes, I used the moulds that I would use for cannelés, but I have made them before in other small silicone moulds: dome-shaped work particularly well here.

If you just want to make these Christmassy bites, rather than a full-sized cake as well, you can make a one-egg mixture. This amount which will give enough for up to about 30 mini cakes, depending on the size of the mould. I have given the recipe for a one-egg mixture below.

You need just a teaspoon or so of the Christmas cake mixture into each hole, coming just over 3/4 of the way up.

To finish these cake bites, I popped a small amount of marzipan on top on each and then drizzled over some Royal Icing that had been flavoured with a little clementine juice.

These cakes can be made gluten free by simple replacing the plain flour with gluten-free plain flour: I use Dove’s gluten-free flour when I make gluten-free bakes.

Christmas cake bites – makes about 30

  • 50g soft light brown sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten well
  • 50g plain flour (or use gluten-free plain flour)
  • 200g mixed dried fruit of choice (currants, sultanas, raisins, cranberries, cherries…..)
  • 50g mixed peel, finely chopped
  • 50g nuts of choice (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios….), roughly chopped
  • a little grated orange zest
  • a splash of brandy or rum
  • just under 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • a few gratings of nutmeg
  • about 1/2 tablespoon black treacle

To finish:

  • a few tablespoons brandy, optional
  • about 50g Royal Icing sugar
  • some of the juice from a clementine to mix (or use orange or water)
  • about 50g marzipan
  • edible gold or silver balls

(1) Preheat the oven to 120C (fan).

(2) Beat the butter, sugar, flour, egg, mixed spice and nutmeg until it just comes together. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

(3) Place about a teaspoon into each mould, coming to just over three-quarters of the way up. Bake for about an hour and a quarter to an hour an a half: they are done when a cocktail stick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

(4) Leave to cool for a few minutes in the moulds and then turn out to cool fully. NB: I find pulling and stretching the moulds a little helps the cakes come away from the moulds.

(5) Drip the tops in brandy and leave them for a few moments to soak up just a little. Take a little marzipan and flatten, and place on top of each cake. Mix the Royal Icing sugar with just enough juice or water to give a fairly thick, but just pourable consistency. Drizzle over about a teaspoon of the icing, letting it drip slowly down the sides. Pop a gold or silver ball on top of each.

Linked recipes:

  • My recipe for a fuller-sized Christmas cake is here
  • My recipe for a glazed fruit & nut vegan Christmas cake is here




  1. Bernadine · · Reply


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice one, Philip. I like the use of the molds

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you. Yes they make them nicely quirky


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