Midwinter Morsels

The solstices are upon us and here in Australia we’re about to celebrate the longest night of the year. After the winter solstice the nights will get shorter and the days longer but the weather will get colder! Midwinter always reminds me of fruitcake and pinecones so I just had to add a sprinkling of pine nuts to my fruitcake recipe.

Fruitcake Cupcakes



3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 + 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup sultanas
1/4 cup mixed peel, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
24 maraschino cherries, cut in half

Preheat the oven to 150C / 300F.
Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 12 paper cases.
In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs one at a time.
Add flour, salt, mixed spice and ginger and mix until combined.
Stir in the dried fruit, mixed peel and pine nuts until just combined.
Using an ice-cream scoop, spoon the batter evenly into paper cases.
Push four half maraschino cherries into the top of each cupcake. 
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. As usual, it looks delicious! I have always been a fan of fruitcakes. When I read the recipe, I thought I had never heard of sultanas (which I haven’t!) but I looked them up and see they are what we call white raisins, very common here. And I love them also!

    Hope you had a wonderful Winter Solstice. My Summer Solstice here is still unseasonably cold and rainy 😦 But looking forward to warmer days to come!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny how we have different names for different produce! I use sultanas, raisins and currants interchangeably in my recipes. I also love fruitcake and fruit breads. Fruitcake is linked to the afterlife and they have found fruitcake in Egyptian tombs – makes me it like it even more. 🙂

      I had a lovely Winter Solstice. It was cold but I still managed to get outside at midnight and light a candle for the new year. Hope you had a great Summer Solstice and I hope the weather warms up soon – it’s been a long winter for you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, I did not know about the Egyptian thing! Makes me like fruitcake even more, too. Of course, now that I think about it, I can see a connection between mummifying and the preservation of dried fruit… Those Egyptians were smart!

        Yeah, I am bummed about this long cold spell. In Michigan they actually had snow a few days ago! So I should not complain. But we should be getting warmer days soon 🙂 Glad you had a lovely solstice.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can’t believe it snowed in Michigan in summer! It’s been a crazy year weather wise. It’s cold here but the sun is shining so I dress for winter but still wear sunscreen. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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