These tasty little cakes use angel cake batter to make delectably light treats, with all the flavours of a mince pie. They are spiced with cinnamon, rich with dried fruit and warming with brandy, but held together in a super-light sponge rather than heavy pastry. The frosting is the flavours of brandy butter but uses light cream cheese instead of butter for a lighter option without losing any of the flavour. Perfect as a weekend treat, make these cupcakes with the kids. They only take 12 mins to cook and cost hardly anything to make. Swap the brandy for orange juice for a non-alcoholic version.
- For the sponge:
- 4 egg whites
- 1tsp lemon juice
- 70g caster sugar
- 50g icing sugar
- 60g plain flour
- ½tsp baking powder
- 2tsp cinnamon
- 2tsp vanilla essence
- 2tsp brandy
- Zest of an orange
- 80g of mixed dried fruit (soaked in 2tbsp brandy and 1tbsp hot water for 1hr)
- For the frosting:
- 150g light cream cheese
- 4-5tbsp icing sugar
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 2tsp brandy
- Dried fruit to decorate (optional)
To make this cupcake recipe, pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC Fan/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
Put the egg whites in a big bowl with the lemon juice. Whisk with an electric whisk for 3-4mins until they have doubled in volume and are very frothy.
Add the caster sugar and whisk for a further 3-4mins until the mixture forms soft peaks.
Fold in the flour, baking powder, icing sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, brandy and orange zest. Very gently, fold in the drained dried fruit. Taste the batter and add 2-3tsp of the soaking liquid if you like.
Spoon into cupcake cases (about 2 dessert spoons per case) in a bun tin, and bake for 10-12mins until risen, golden brown and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin.
Put the cream cheese, 4tbsp of icing sugar, cinnamon and brandy (or orange juice) in a big bowl and beat until smooth. Taste, and add more icing sugar if you like. You want a thick icing but not so thick that it cannot be easily spooned over the cupcakes.
Decorate each cupcake with candied peel and raisins, if you like.
Use orange juice and extra cinnamon if you prefer not to cook with alcohol.