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When I was taking with my mum about our Christmas plans she said that we didn’t really need a big Christmas cake as it is always such a struggle to make it and why don’t I make some mini Christmas cakes in a baked bean tin. I had totally forgotten about this fun and frugal way of making cakes. It was something we did in Girl Guides to raise money at Christmas and is such an easy way to make cute little cakes that are perfect as gifts or just if you want a smaller cake.
You can use any recipe you want for this. If you have a favourite Christmas cake then use that. I used our favourite easy recipe. This recipe is great because there aren’t many ingredients so you could make lots to give away really cheaply.
- 500g (1lb) dried mixed fruit
- 3 tsp of chopped glace cherries
- 3tsp candied peel
- 5tsp brandy
- 3 large eggs
- 300g (10oz) plain flour
- 250g (8oz) butter, softened
- 250g (8oz) soft brown sugar
- 1 tbs of lemon juice
- 1 tbsp ground mixed spice
- 410g jar of mincemeat
Soak the mixed fruit, cherries and peel in brandy overnight.
Cream the butter and sugar and sift in the flour and spices. Stir in the mixed fruit, mincemeat and lemon juice.
Line clean baked bean tins with baking parchment. We used 3 small tins and three standard sized tins. Make sure you keep some of the baking paper out the top of the tins as you will need this to pull the cake out of the tin.
Bake a small sized tin for 1 hour in a low oven. Check with a skewer they are cooked.
Bake a standard sized tin for 1.5 hours in a low oven. Check with a skewer they are cooked.
Leave to cool before icing.
Here are three different ways to ice mini cakes
Traditional Mini Christmas Cakes
These cakes are so simple. They look really traditional and would be lovely wrapped in a bow and given as gifts. If you have a holly shaped cutter you can make the leaves really easily.
Simply cover in white fondant icing.
Cut out four mini leaves in green fondant, or you could even use real leaves.
Add a glace cherry left over from the cake mix in the middle.
Present Shaped Christmas Gifts
These are so easy to make and look really pretty and festive.
All you need is white fondant icing which you roll and stretch over the cake. Then wrap some strawberry rip rolls around and tie as you would a bow. We found these red ones with sugar which looks so festive. I cut it lengthways to create a thinner strip to tie into a bow which made it much easier. You could also use strawberry laces.
Fun Festive Friends Mini Christmas Cakes
When the cakes came out of the baked bean tins they looked just like little penguins. I knew we had to make festive friends out of them. This design is a bit tricker but if you use candy eyes it makes it a bit simpler.
The snowman we used a small Christmas cake and covered in white fondant icing. We rolled some icing into a ball for the head. Then added the details, candy eyeballs, an orange jelly bean for the nose, currents for the buttons, some red strawberry rip roll for the scarf and a red fondant icing hat.
The penguin was the easiest to make. You just need candy eyes and white, black and yellow fondant icing. Decorate the cake with the black icing. Then add a circle of white icing which you can fold under. Use the yellow for the beak and flippers, in little triangles. Then add the candy eyes.
Rudolph is made from the large baked bean tin. Cover with brown icing and add a round nose to the middle at the front. Use the icing to make two little ears. Use Curly Wurlys for the antler, candy eyes and strawberry laces with a yellow jelly bean for a bell around his neck. I started off using red icing for the nose but changed it to a glace cherry which looked much better.
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