Christmas Fairy Cakes in a Jar,
Day Seventeen on the Advent Calendar
The Big Christmas Bake-off
Window seventeen is a
English Mum’s Place!
I am baking big again, not just for Christmas but for English Mum and her big Christmas Bake-off; any baking challenge that has “BIG” in the title has me reaching for the eggs and big bags of flour….I like big baking, I especially love big Christmas baking! This is a two fold recipe idea ~ initially it is a gift in a jar, although I broke into mine and baked the contents for this blog post…….it’s a Christmas Fairy Cake mix in a jar and a really unique and fun gift for a fellow baking buddy. I call them fairy cakes, they are really big buns, there we go with BIG again, I just can’t get away from the largesse of it all……but I have stopped short of calling them big buns, as it really doesn’t have the same ring to it as Christmas Fairy Cakes.
These big little cakes are studded with brightly jewelled fruits and are heady with mixed spices……they are made with brown sugar for an extra depth of flavour and are wonderful when served warm with honey or marmalade and butter for a special festive breakfast. I originally developed the recipe for the magazine I used to write for, Country Kitchen, and they proved to be very popular with several readers writing in to say that they had made them as gifts, and how happy the recipients had been on receiving and baking them. When I made this batch up yesterday, the kitchen was full of spicy fragrance and my husband “liberated” a couple on his way past, as they were cooling on the rack!
I found the gold cake cases screwed up and stuffed behind his work coat in the workshop later…..
As these big little cakes are Christmas in theme, I am also entering them into our monthly Tea Time Treats challenge, which my partner in crime, Kate, is hosting this month, the theme which is curiously enough, Christmas!
That’s all for today, I feel I have been light on words lately and heavy on images and photos, but I will be bouncing back after Christmas (and New Year) with wordier posts and lengthy ramblings, so you have been warned! See you later…….Karen
Pretty festive spiced fairy cakes, studded with jewel coloured fruit ~ just the thing for the Christmas tea table. This makes a wonderful gift, but, I also make a batch for us every year, as the jar looks so pretty & festive sitting in the kitchen waiting to be baked. Try to use really colourful dried fruits with a good mix of tastes and textures. Makes about 18 fairy cakes or 9 larger buns.
IN THE JAR:
300 g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
150 g dried fruit, medley (cranberries, red and green cherries, sultanas, raisins, currants, glace ginger, mixed citrus peel, blueberries, strawberries etc)
100 g light brown sugar
TO ADD LATER:
2 eggs, beaten
300 ml milk
100 g melted butter
Layer all the ingredients in a 1 litre/2 pint glass preserving jar in the order that the ingredients are listed.
Write the following method on a gift label:
“Tip the contents of the jar into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add 2 beaten eggs, 300ml/1/2 pt milk and 100g/4oz melted butter. Mix quickly and lightly to a soft batter. Divide between 18 to 24 paper cake cases. Bake at 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 for 18-20 minutes. Can be iced and decorated with glace cherries or edible sugar paste decorations. Store in a cool place. Use within 4 weeks”.
Attach the label and a wooden spoon to the top of the jar with some raffia or coloured ribbon and a sprig of holly or seasonal herbs. (I like to use Bay leaves)
Look out for attractive clear jars ~ either glass or plastic ~ to show off the layers of the fairy cake mix ~ I like to use Kilner Jars.