This recipe was given to me. It is wonderful to share recipes at Christmas as many people have their own traditions – and recipes – which have run in the family for years, may be even centuries. It is particularly valuable to people who are new to cooking at Christmas, since it normally takes several years to build up any real experience for puddings and cakes, as you only get the opportunity and practice once a year.
It all helps to share the love and goodwill at Christmas time – after all there is nothing more community building than the sharing of food – so do be generous with your recipes and share the easy and delicious ones.
And don’t be modest thinking yours can’t be good enough. If you enjoy it I am certain there are lots of people out there who will. And I am already enjoying the thrill of trying new recipes – like these Christmas muffins – especially when they are so easy to make and so very delicious!
These lovely seasonal muffins are easy to make, deliciously Christmasy with fruit spice and some real Christmas Spirit!
An Easy, Light Christmas Treat!
These Christmas muffins are a light, fruity and tasty Christmas cake – much lighter than its traditional counterpart and can be prepared at fairly short notice if you are having guests to stay. They certainly are ‘crowd pleaser’ cakes and something a little different but with plenty of traditional content!
There can be so much pressure at this time of year to cook things ‘properly’ according to tradition. And there is nothing wrong with that at all, if the person doing the cooking enjoys both the cooking and the results. But having some easy alternatives to some traditional Christmas recipes brings a little variety. It is a good time to do something different and experiment with some of the traditional ways and tastes but do something a little simple – and it can surprise people.
Plenty of Christmas Spirit!
These Christmas muffins have plenty of traditional flavour – containing fruit, mixed spice, cinnamon and either rum or brandy. They are much, much lighter than traditional Christmas cake but are packed with flavour. I also think that they would make a great substitute for Christmas pudding at the end of a heavy meal, because they are so light and yet flavourful, they would be delicious served with cream, ice cream or brandy butter.
You can ring the changes on the fruit you use, so you can simply use what you have – sultanas, raisins, currants, dates, glacier cherries or other dried fruits. Do let me know what combinations you use. The recipe calls for rum but I used brandy as it was what I had in – and it is delicious, so you can use either.
Adjust the spice content to suit your tastes.
Christmas Muffins Recipe
- Small muffin cases
- 85 g chopped dates
- 55 g sultanas
- 12 glace cherries chopped
- 1/2 orange rind grated
- 140 ml rum or brandy
- 170 g soft butter or margarine
- 110 g brown soft sugar
- 55 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 170 g plain flour
- 55 g self-raising flour
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon mixed spices plus extra cinnamon, if liked
- A handful Split Almonds & Cherries to decorate
- Put the fruit in a bowl
- Pour the rum or brandy over the fruit and stir well
- Leave to soak - best to leave over night
- Cover the mix with with cling-film pushed down onto fruit to make it airtight
- Put another layer of cling-film over top of the bowl
- Stir three times during the soak with a metal spoon so each tiny chunk of fruit soaks the flavour of the rum or brandy
- By morning the fruit should have soaked almost all of the rum or brandy
- Pre heat the oven to on Gas 3 / 170c / 325F
- Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy
- Add the eggs, one at a time and whisk briskly between each one
- In a separate bowl, mix the flours together and stir in the bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice
- Add half of the flour and spice mix to the creamed eggs, butter and sugar mix by folding with a metal spoon
- Add the fruit and mix in carefully
- Fold in the remaining flour mix
- If your mixture is a little runny add more sifted plain flour until the mixture just slightly drops from spoon
- Decorate with cherries and almonds
- Use two paper muffin cases for each cake
- Fill each case with cake mixture and place on baking tray
- Turn Oven down to gas 2 / 150c just before putting in
- Bake in the oven for about 20 mins
- Check 5 mins before as everyone's oven works different
- Test to see if ready by placing clean finger gently in middle - if springs back-they are ready
- Cool, then place on wire rack almost cold