Christmas Cake the German way!

‎This is based on my Grandmother’s Ulmer recipe but not as a tray bake but as muffins! I’ve had to adapt quantities and they turned out wonderfully moist yet light, with incredible Christmas flavour and the smell of the rum in the icing makes your mouth water. At least mine!


165g soft butter
300g brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
270g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
70g cocoa powder
225ml milk
25ml malt vinegar
120ml coffee (cold or warm)
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
1 ½ tsp allspice
1 ½ tsp mixed spice
2 tsp cinnamon
250g of roasted chopped hazelnuts

I’ve also made them with a mixture of different nuts, last time I used hazel and walnuts and a rest of ground almonds.

First things first, put the kettle on and make your coffee. You can use instant or freshly brewed coffee, it makes no difference. Turn the oven on to Gasmark 4 (or 180C).

Then measure out the milk and add the vinegar to it.

Weigh all the dry ingredients into one bowl, add the hazelnuts and give it all a good stir.

Now it’s really just a case of putting things together!

Cream the butter with the sugar, add the eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and then the milk vinegar mixture and the coffee. Whisk it all together. Fill your muffins cups. Depending on how big they are you will get at least 12 out of them, if not more. The batter tastes good enough to eat on its own. If you think it’s not Christmassy enough, just add more mixed spice and cinnamon. I’d be careful with the ground cloves though. Bake for about 25 minutes in the oven.


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