If you’ve ever made your own fruit liqueur, you might have second thoughts about throwing away all that booze soaked fruit. Well don’t do it, make these Christmas cupcakes instead. If, however, you like the sound of the cupcakes but don’t have any booze soaked fruit, fear not. You can soak some raisins in alcohol overnight instead.
After the indulgence of Saturday’s chocolate chestnut Yule log, it’s time to knuckle down and make a few presents. In preparation, I’ve bought some single cupcake boxes to add to the bags and baskets of various goodies that I’ve already made. As usual I’ve been over ambitious, so I don’t have as many as I’d originally planned.
Leftover Fruit from Homemade Liqueurs
But at least I have something of a selection: medlar jelly, cranberry, walnut and white chocolate cookies (I’ll be posting this one for Sweet & Simple Bakes on 1 January) and most importantly for this recipe, redcurrant vodka. How could I let all those booze soaked redcurrants go to waste? I couldn’t of course, so – stroke of genius – I decided to use them in these Christmas cupcakes.
This is a great recipe for using up any booze soaked fruit that you might otherwise discard. Berries are good as you don’t have to do anything to them, although they can be a bit seedy. You will need to cut up larger pieces of fruit such as plums and peaches, but then you have the bonus of no seeds. Just strain your fruit through muslin and leave for a while to finish dripping. Bottle your homemade liqueur, then add the fruit to a cake mixture such as this one.
If you like the idea of cakes made with booze soaked fruit, but don’t have any homemade liqueur in need of straining, don’t fret. All you need to do is soak some raisins in brandy, rum or whisky. Or even a homemade fruit liqueur.
The cakes are more like puddings than light sponge. In fact they’re a little reminiscent of a Christmas pudding, both in texture and taste. Nice and fruity with a bit of alcohol to warm the cockles. They are slightly seedy, but that’s only to be expected of currants. The rich chocolate ganache is delicious in its own right, but also enhances these Christmas cupcakes and makes them more special.
The cakes are pretty simple to make as is the chocolate ganache. They make excellent individual gifts. Decorate the tops as you see fit, but we rather liked the chocolate snowflakes.
We managed to nab a cake each before they were boxed up and delivered. Luckily, the consensus was favourable. And even better, the recipients were very happy. We were present when a couple of friends were eating theirs and I heard some very gratifying, oohs and aahs.
Thank you to all the good folk who have visited my blog this year with special thanks to those that leave such kind and supportive comments. These are always much appreciated. I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas.
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Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these Christmas cupcakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
Christmas Cupcakes. PIN IT.
Christmas Cupcakes – The Recipe
- 125 g unsalted butter - softened
- 125 g dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 125 g flour (I used half wholemeal spelt and half white spelt)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 heaped tbsp cocoa
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 6 large tbsp of redcurrants, or other berries, that have been marinaded in vodka & sugar for 3 months then drained (alternatively you could use 100g raisins soaked overnight in brandy or liqueur of choice)
- 100 g 70% dark chocolate
- 100 g unsalted butter - softened
- 50 g icing sugar
- Cream the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Sieve in the flour and other dry ingredients.
- Then stir in the marinaded fruit.
- Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake in a preheated oven at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 22 mins.
- Leave to cool whilst making the topping.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool a little.
- Cream the butter with the icing sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the chocolate and spread on top of the cooled cupcakes.
- Decorate with cranberries and chocolate snowflakes.