Eggless Christmas Cupcakes
450g self raising flour + 50g plain flour
350g mixed dried fruits (I used a mixture of dates, apricots, prunes, cranberries, raisins, sultanas and cherries)
320g dark brown sugar (such as muscavado)
250ml sparkling water
80g chopped pecans
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground mixed spice (cloves, nutmeg, coriander seed powder)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp cornflour
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
50ml lemon juice
60ml orange juice
2 tsp natural yogurt
1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp sunflower oil
250g white icing (ready to roll)
Golden syrup (or dark corn syrup) to brush on the cakes and stick the decorations on
Red and green food colours
Icing sugar to dust
1. Mix together the dried fruits (chop up any large pieces) and chopped pecans with 50g plain flour. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl sift together the self raising flour, baking powder, baking soda, mixed spice, cinnamon and cornflour. Sift again then gently fold in the ground almonds, lemon and orange zest.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, yogurt, apple cider vinegar and oil.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the sifted flour mixture and add the sparkling water. Whisk and then fold in the flour-dusted fruits and nuts. Be careful not to overwork the cake batter.
5. Spoon the mixture into a lined cupcake tray. Bake at 160 degrees C for around 20 minutes or until a skewer poked through the centre comes out clean. Don’t open the oven door for the first 15 minutes of baking.
6. Allow to cool.
7. Brush with warm golden syrup and first stick on thin discs of marzipan (I rolled my marzipan with a rolling pin, dusting with icing sugar, and used a wine glass to cut to size but you could also use a cookie cutter or just freehand it).
8. Brush the marzipan with more golden syrup and repeat for the icing. If you don’t want it to be too sweet, roll the icing thinner.
9. Colour your white icing with your food colours and roll the red into little berry-sized balls and roll the green, then cut into holly shapes. Dust with a flurry of icing sugar and edible glitter.