With love, from Santa: Christmas cupcake delights!

Published: December 25, 2013

Christmas cupcakes with lemon zest and dried fruits. PHOTO: LAILA DHARAMSEY

Christmas is that time of the year where you just want to cozy up near a fire with your loved ones and enjoy some soul food. Whether it’s a nice little turkey combined with some exceptional roasted vegetables or some scrumptious dessert that just melts in your mouth.

So in the spirit of Christmas, I’ve decided to spruce up an old Christmas recipe and give you something to share with your loved ones. For those who want to spread some Christmas spirit this holiday, here is my recipe of Christmas cupcakes with lemon zest and dried fruits.


Photo: Laila Dharamsey

Butter – 125 grams

Soft brown sugar – 100 grams

Lemon zest – 1 tsp (finely grated)

Eggs – 2 (room temperature, not cold)

Chopped walnuts – 60 grams

Orange juice – 80 ml

Dried mix fruit – 127 grams

Flour – 1 cup

Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp

Garam masala – 1/2 tsp

Betty Crocker vanilla frosting


1) Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius for 30 minutes.

2) Add the soft butter, sugar and lemon zest together and beat till pale and creamy.

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

3) Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each well into the batter.

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

4) Soak the dried mix fruit in orange juice for 10 minutes. Separate the dried fruit and orange, and pulse the dried fruit in a blender.

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

5) As the mixture will be clumpy, cut the dried fruit, using a knife, into small pieces.

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

6) Chop your walnuts finely and add them into the batter along with the chopped dried fruit. Mix well using a spatula.

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

7) Add the cinnamon powder, garam masala, flour and the orange juice used for soaking the dried fruits in four additions. Mix well using a spatula.

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

8) Spoon three table spoons of batter into your cupcake pan for each cupcake.

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

9) Bake for 30-40 minutes till cupcakes are firm to touch. They might be bubbling on the sides but if their center is firm, then their cooked.

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

10) Let the cupcakes cool for a bit before applying frosting. Fill in some ready made Betty Crocker frosting into a piping bag and decorate your cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, chocolate mint chips or with cherry sugar balls.

Photo: Laila Dharamsey

Enjoy the warm and zesty flavour of these cupcakes with a nice hot cup of coffee.

Here’s a little something to remember this Christmas by,

“Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts” – Janice Maeditere

Merry Christmas everyone!


Laila Dharamsey

Associate creative manager at Red Communication Arts. She tweets @LailaDharamsey1 (twitter.com/LailaDharamsey1)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.