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Festive spiced muffins

These easy-to-make muffins will whip up a little festive cheer in your home. They're a classic combination of spices and fruit covered in a creamy frosting.

  • 20 minutes prep. time
  • 20–25 minutes cooking time
  • Serves 12
  • Christmas
National Trust festive spiced muffins with brandy frosting
Festive spiced muffins | © National Trust


  • 100g dried mixed fruit
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 4 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 400g self-raising flour
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml soya milk
  • 150ml vegetable oil

For the frosting

  • 150g butter, at room temperature
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


Top tip

For maximum flavour you can soak the dried fruit in the brandy overnight. For an alcohol-free version, you can make this recipe without brandy.

Step 1

Put the dried mixed fruit, cranberries, mixed peel and mixed spice into a bowl. Add the brandy, stir well and leave to soak for at least 1 hour, or overnight if you can.

Step 2

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

Step 3

Put the flour, caster sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl and combine together.

Step 4

Put the eggs, soya milk and oil in another bowl and whisk until frothy.

Step 5

Add the dried fruit mixture to the dry ingredients, then tip in the egg mixture and use a spatula to mix together.

Step 6

Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases, then bake for 20–25 minutes, until the muffins are golden and have risen.

Step 7

Place the muffins on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Step 8

For the frosting: Beat the butter until soft. Gradually beat in the icing sugar, adding the brandy after you’ve added two-thirds of the sugar, and continue to beat until pale and smooth.

Step 9

Once the muffins have cooled, spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain or star nozzle. Pipe the frosting onto the muffins. 

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