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Homemade Christmas Gifting Day Six – Snowball cocktail cakes

Whether it’s snowing or not Day six is for snowballs! It’s a wonderfully retro and unashamedly kitsch little bun. The cocktail cherries you buy in jars nowadays are depressingly labelled ‘maraschino flavour’ and probably haven’t smelled so much as a boozy breath of the original liqueur. To get the authentic cherrystone flavour you may need to order it online or feel free to substitute another tipple, like kirsch, or dispense with it as you wish.

cocktail cakes

Makes 12 cakes




For the maraschino cherries;

12 dried sour cherries a shot glass of maraschino liqueur


For the cakes

3 unwaxed lemons (about 250–275g in total)

4 large eggs

150g caster sugar

125g ground almonds

50g gluten-free ground rice

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder


For the advocaat cream

200ml double cream (or whipping cream, if you prefer)

4 tbsp advocaat (or to taste!)




1. Put the dried cherries in the maraschino liqueur, cover the glass with cling film and leave the cherries to steep overnight


2. To make the cakes, put the lemons in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for at least an hour until the skin is very soft. Remove from the pan and leave until cool enough to handle


3. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/170ºC fan/gas 5 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases


4. Chop the skin of the lemons fairly finely (though a few chunks won’t be a problem) and mash the flesh until you have a pulpy mush, removing and discarding any pips on the way.


5. Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl, and add the sugar, ground almonds, ground rice and baking powder. Stir in the lemon mush – skin and all. Spoon the mixture into the lined muffin tin.


6. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.


7. When ready to serve, whisk the cream with the advocaat until just thick enough to pipe. Transfer the cream to an icing bag, pipe it onto the cakes and then top with a maraschino-soaked cherry.


And there you have it! Some quirky, fun little cupcakes which we know your friends and family will adore. We’d also suggest sprinkling some icing sugar over the top to make them extra snowy and festive.