Mini Spiced Christmas Loaves

These little loaf cakes, packed with driied fruit and spice, are a lighter alternative to a traditional Christmas cake. You can simply dust them with icing suger, or decorate the with glace cherries and nuts as we have done here.


  • 100g mixed sultanas and raisins
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • Juice 1/2 orange
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten


  • Honey
  • A mixture of: halved glace cherries, toasted flaked almonds and pistachios
  • Fondant icing
  • Silver balls
  • Icing sugar


6 mini loaf paper cases (approximately 8cm x 4cm)


  1. Place the dried fruit in a small bowl and stir in the orange zest and juice. Set aside while you prepare the batter. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) gas mark 4.
  2. Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream together using either a wooden spoon or an electric hand whisk. Continue to mix until the mixture looks pale and light. Mix in the mixed spice and 1 tablespoon of flour. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition. Add the remaining flour to the bowl and mix again to combine.
  3. Spoon the mixture into 6 mini loaf paper cases and level the surface. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. Brush the cooled cakes with honey then scatter with toasted flaked almonds, chopped glace cherries and halved pistachios.


For an alternative topping, featuring a snowy white Christmas tree, try this. Dust a clean worksurface with a little white icing sugar then roll out 125g fondant icing until a couple of millimetres thick. Use a 8.5cm Christmas tree cutter (measured from the top of the tree to the base) and stamp out 6 trees, rerolling the icing as necessary. Brush the top of each cake with a little runny honey or warm apricot glaze and place a fondant tree on top of each. Carefully push a small silver ball into the point of each part of the Christmas tree. Dust lightly with icing sugar and serve.

Makes: 6 mini loaves

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