or scroll for handy tips and a little nostalgia.
These mini Christmas Cakes are perfect to serve on Christmas Day.
They’re also a great way to spread some festive cheer – bake them up and give as a small Christmas-themed gift.
Packed with mixed fruit, spices, syrup and cocoa, these little Christmas cakes are sure to make your festive season special.
With glaze icing and silver cachous, they really do capture the wonder and beauty of the festive season.
Mini Christmas Cakes: ingredients from an old-fashioned boiled fruit cake recipe
This recipe is from the pages of Nana Ling’s handwritten recipe book.
It’s a boiled fruit cake, and here’s what you’ll need to add to your shopping list:
- mixed fruit and glace cherries
- brown sugar
- bicarb soda
- allspice and nutmeg
- golden syrup
- SR flour
- icing sugar
- Amaretto (or another flavouring or essence).
Tips for making Mini Christmas Cakes
You do need to allow the boiled mixture to cool when making these cakes, so allow time for the cooling to take place.
You can make them up about 2 months in advance, however make sure you store the cake in the fridge.
You should also leave the glazing step until closer to serving time.
Use some contrasting colours when serving these or packaging as a gift.
I’ve used NSW Christmas Bush here (which isn’t edible), however some brightly coloured ribbons would also work well.
If you’d like to use this recipe to make one cake, simply change the cooking time to 2 hours.
If you’d like to explore the rest of the Cooking with Nana Ling Christmas recipe collection, head over here.
Nana Ling’s Mini Christmas Cakes recipe
Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.
Mini Christmas Cakes
- 375 grams mixed fruit
- 60 grams glace cherries (halved)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch allspice
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 cup water
- 30 grams butter
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon jam (strawberry, raspberry or your favourite jam)
- 2 cups SR flour
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon Amaretto
- 3-4 tablespoons boiling water
- Place fruit, glace cherries, brown sugar, cocoa, bicarb soda, salt, allspice, nutmeg and water in a saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, stirring, and boil (covered) for 3 minutes.
- Take from heat and add chopped butter and golden syrup. Stir to combine.
- Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
- When cool, add eggs, jam and SR flour. Stir well.
- Line muffin pans with paper (I use the pre-shaped store-bought muffin papers). Add mixture to pans (makes 12).
- Bake in oven at 175 degrees celsius (fan-forced) for 25-30 minutes.
- When you take cakes from the oven, brush the tops with whisky and wrap in foil to cool.
- Allow cakes to cool completely before adding glaze.
- Remove cakes from paper cases and level tops of cakes. Turn upside down before icing.
- Mix all ingredients together. Use enough water to ensure a runny but creamy texture (you want glaze to spread and cover cakes but don’t want it so runny that it doesn’t stick to the cakes). If you don’t have (or like) Amaretto, use another flavouring or simply substitute boiling water.
- Put cakes on a cooling rack with a tray underneath. Pour glaze over cakes and scoop up the run-off in the tray to re-use (making sure all cakes are completely coated in the glaze).
- Sprinkle silver cachous and crystal sprinkles on top of each cake.
Sunday 21st of November 2021
Do you think these would work using gluten free flour?
Monday 22nd of November 2021
Hi Jan. Sorry I haven't tried with gluten free flour but I understand you can substitute 1:1 ratio so it'd be worth a try. Happy cooking :)
Sunday 22nd of December 2019
Thank you for this recipe. I made 2 batches today in small star tins. Very morish.
Thursday 26th of December 2019
Hi Ruth - that's wonderful. Thanks so much for letting me know and for the 5 star rating. Much appreciated. :)
Friday 13th of December 2019
being a Kiwi living in Aust have always had an interest in NZ cooking and have great recipes from such as Edmonds cookery book and even going back to Aunt Daisy. Yes I’m over 80. But, your lovely recipes bring back just how good these old recipes are.
Saturday 14th of December 2019
Hi Ingrid. Yes, the more I cook up Nana Ling's recipes the more I realise how great the old recipes are. We share so many common recipes between NZ and Australia - I've just updated Nana Ling's pavlova recipe from 1941. Thanks for your lovely comments, it always makes my day to hear from someone who is enjoying the recipes. Libby x
Thursday 29th of November 2018
Mum is always very happy to help as I am just so very proud of you for this beautiful website. Nan Mac would be so very very proud and Nana Ling would never dreamed she would have a great grandaughter that would keep her very special recipes that she took much time and pride in keeping them alive and sharing with many home cooks all over the world . Nana Ling had many pen friends from all over the world and would not believe her much loved recipes are now shared all over the world . With much love from Mun and I am sure from Nan Mac and Nana Ling xxx
Thursday 6th of December 2018
Thank you for always encouraging me and leaving this beautiful comment xxxxx
Wednesday 28th of November 2018
Can you make this as one cake not 12 mini cakes
Wednesday 28th of November 2018
Hi Sara. Yes, the original recipe is for one cake and says to cook for 2 hours. Happy cooking!