November 28, 2010

Eggless Christmas Cupcakes

Temperatures are dropping, frosty sheens are crystallising everything within reach, and the only way to hold on to your marbles is with Eggless Christmas Cupcakes.

A reader took the time to email me a couple of months ago with a request for eggless Christmas cake. The ever popular fruit cake around Christmastime is imperative, so why should non-egg eaters miss out on the goodies? The festive flavours of mixed fruits, nuts and spices fill the house with the most comforting seasonal aroma whilst these pretty cupcakes bake. Simply irresistible.

I wanted to create a small twist on conventional Christmas cake by making easy to serve cupcakes, but keeping the flavours traditional and reminiscent of the season was also a must. These little bites of Christmas have been iced with marzipan and white icing in the usual fashion. And although they have been loaded with dried fruits, nuts and spices, I’ve purposely kept them light and not too overpowering or dense.

If you’re taking pictures at 4pm in the UK, you may as well be taking them at 4am. Either way, there’s no natural light. I’m so bitter.

You can decorate your cakes however you like with your favourite Christmassy patterns. I kept mine really simple with a holly pattern (and a random Christmas tree- I forget why) made from white icing coloured with green and red gel food colours (I used Wilton), a shower of icing sugar and edible glitter. You can go as elaborate as you like- just be sure to email me pictures to drool over.


I haven’t used alcohol in my recipe given the majority audience of this blog. However, if you would like to spike your cakes with a little tipple I suggest using 5-10ml of amaretto (e.g. Disaronno) or any other almond liqueur. You could also use brandy or bourbon. Simply make a dozen holes in the top of your cake with a cocktail stick and pour over the liqueur. Allow this to soak in for a couple of hours before icing and eating.

So, instead of serving up a huge and rich Christmas cake this year (while pondering how much will be leftover), why not bake a batch or two of these light and spicy individual Eggless Christmas Cupcakes? You don’t even need to take the time to decorate them; try serving warm with custard for the ideal December dessert.

Eggless Christmas Cupcakes
Makes 18-20


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

To decorate:
250g marzipan
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
Edible glitter


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.

Since this is the season to eat, drink and be merry, I’ve decided that in the run up to Christmas I will post recipes for my favourite seasonal desserts and drinks- they make the best fire-side companions during the chilly period.

I’d love to see which edible gifts you’re sending out to your friends and family this year. Email me at: sanju(underscore)modha(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk and I’ll post your image up in time for Christmas. Also, I’m just gonna put this out there if anyone is interested in sending me an edible gift for Christmas… please? Anyone? No?

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32 responses to “Eggless Christmas Cupcakes”

  1. Mr. P says:

    LOVE THEM! But it's not Christmas yet. You were so just looking for an excuse to bake!

  2. says:

    they are so cute!!! 😀

  3. Cristina - TeenieCakes says:

    Your gorgeous Holiday cupcakes are getting me excited for Christmas baking. Beautifully done and luv that they're eggless.

  4. Shivani says:

    good work on decorating the cupcakes

  5. Meg says:

    These are adorable!

  6. Sharmilee! :) says:

    Looks yummy n tempting with all those frosting

  7. TiffKey says:

    These look amazing! I'm so curious about the cornflour!!!!! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Sowmya says:

    It's scrumptious…..I'd love to gorge on these precious, teeny-weeny bites!

  9. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Such terrific cupcakes! The flavors with the mixed spice must be fantastic and I love the pretty decorations on top!

  10. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    Very cute and perfect for all the holiday celebrations coming up!

  11. AshKuku says:

    Just awesome & surely festive…. Hugs)))))


  12. Pavithra says:

    Looks gorgeous.. with beautiful pictures.

  13. Jay says:

    Wat a fantastic cake..And the recipe sounds very interesting too..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  14. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Love the idea of small cup cakes for the festival. Like the icing and the deco on the tiny beauties.

  15. Jaisy James says:

    wow looks superbb and yummy cupcake

  16. Priya says:

    Gorgeous, pretty and cute looking cupcakes.

  17. Happy Cook says:

    They look absloutley beautiful and so delicious. Love the decoration on top.
    I too soon have to make my christmas cake but i have been lazy this year 🙂

  18. Mina Joshi says:

    The cupcakes look great. I am going to bookmark this recipe and make some cakes for Christmas.

  19. Gayathri's Cook Spot says:

    Cup cakes look so cute.

  20. Toby says:

    love the micro marzipan layer

  21. Swathi says:

    These cup cakes looks adorable. Love them. with all color and moistness in them make it more wonderful. You have a wonderful space.

  22. says:

    very cute and sweet christmassy cup cakes.

  23. Evan @swEEts says:

    I would absolutely love to have a little cookie exchange if you're down to send some this way as well 🙂 Your decorations are too cute! I've never made my own marzipan so now I may have to try!

  24. Vaishali Sharma says:

    Awww..these look soooo cute!! Love the decoration! Can u send some this way as christmas gift? 🙂

  25. Aparna says:

    Love the cakes and your writing. It's so fun to read your blog. Love it.


  26. Anonymous says:

    Great blog, fun to read beautiful recipes.
    Love it.

  27. Anushruti says:

    Enjoyed reading this. Your cakes look great!

  28. Nellie says:

    Really pretty!
    I love it!

  29. sleepy pimple says:

    Sanjana, I am absolutely obsessed with your blog. I found it while looking at Kurma dasa's blog — I mean, he is the vegetarian cooking guru in my estimation and is a household name in Australia. And he encourages folks to follow your blog – I can see why. So thank you so much! Looking forward to more of your blurbs and recipes. Fine writing!

  30. Satyavati devi dasi says:

    Hi.. these are gorgeous but I have a question about icing ready to roll? Is that fondant or another kind of icing? I am just more familiar with frosting instead. How could I make icing that's rollable?


  31. Sanjana says:

    Your support makes everything worthwile, everyone. Satyavati- You can use store-bought fondant icing but make sure you read the label- some contain egg whites. I've never made icing at home (life's too short!) but I imagine you you need to make a pliable dough-like icing from confectioners sugar, glycerin and water. Hope that helps!

  32. LoveCupcakes says:

    This is indeed a lovely Christmas cupcakes. Love on how you decorated the toppings.

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