Skip to Content

Boozy Christmas Cake Cupcakes

Filled with brandy-soaked dried fruits and nuts, these dense and decadent, Boozy Christmas Cake Cupcakes are an adapted version of the Sri Lankan Christmas Cake of my youth.

Boozy Christmas Cake Cupcakes - RunninSrilankan

*These Boozy Christmas Cupcakes were first published on December 19th, 2016. This post has been updated and is being re-published today, Monday the 16th of December.

When I was a young ‘un in Sri Lanka, I knew Christmas was right around the corner when my parents began our Christmas Cake.

My dad and mom would cover almost every table in our home with chopping boards as they hand-chopped a variety of dried fruits, candied fruits, fruit preserves, and nuts. Then my dad would find the biggest bowl he could and sit on one chair with the bowl perched on another chair in front of him.

Using a large wooden spoon, he would mix all these fruits and nuts with carefully measured out portions of brandy, jam, rose water, spices, vanilla and almond extracts, honey and golden syrup, that my mom would add in. They would then let this mix sit for days in a covered container.

Boozy Christmas Cake Cupcakes - RunninSrilankan

When they finally got around to taking the lid off this container, the smell was intoxicatingly wonderfully heavenly (and those three words don’t quite do that joy-inducing aroma justice).

They then would mix those boozy fruits, nuts and spices with semolina, butter, sugar and what seemed like a gazillion eggs and bake this Christmas Cake for hours in a heavily lined baking tray or sometimes, trays.

To me, the resulting cake was (and is) an entity unto itself. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything quite like it.

My dad loved making and eating that Christmas Cake, so when he passed in the summer of 2014, that Christmas Cake was retired.

Boozy Christmas Cake Cupcakes - RunninSrilankan

But, this year, in honor of him and the passion he brought to making and eating that Christmas cake, I made these Boozy Christmas Cake Cupcakes.

While traditional Sri Lankan Christmas Cake relies heavily on exotic ingredients like Sri Lankan Chow Chow (not to be confused with savory Chow Chow that’s available on grocery store shelves here in the US), and hard to find ingredients like pumpkin preserve and golden syrup, I figure I would make these cupcakes with ingredients I could pick up at my local grocery store.

I employed the same principle of soaking raisins, candied ginger, dates, fruit and peel mix, pecans, cardamom, cinnamon cloves, and nutmeg in jam, brandy, vanilla extract, molasses, maple syrup and rose water – and letting them sit and stew for about 4 days in a covered container.

And, when the time came for me to take that lid off, the resulting aroma took me on a ride down memory lane!

I also used spelt flour instead of semolina and almonds along with butter, brown sugar and eggs before baking. As these were cupcakes, I cut the baking time down from hours to minutes.

Filled with brandy-soaked dried fruits and nuts, these dense and decadent, Boozy Christmas Cake Cupcakes are an adapted version of the Sri Lankan Christmas Cake of my youth.

The resulting cupcakes were not as darkly colored as the Sri Lankan Christmas Cake of my youth, but, the flavor was so darn close.

They do not need any sort of frosting, though some people enjoy Sri Lankan Christmas cake with a layer of marzipan on top.

These cupcakes are sinfully dense, rich, moist, and decadent – aaaaaannnndddd you still have time to pull these off by Christmas Eve!!!

If you are looking to add some nutritious sides to your Christmas Dinner or Lunch Table, then please do check out these Ginger Carrots, this Cauliflower and Fig recipe and this Asparagus Egg Salad (the latter inspired by David Lebovitz )

Boozy Christmas Cake Cupcakes - Sri Lankan Christmas Cake.

My friends, thank you so much for stopping by my little space and commenting, and for trusting my recipes and giving them a try. I hope and pray each and every one of y’all a Very, Merry Christmas!

Looking to add some healthyish cookies to your dessert table or cookie exchange? Then this list is, for you:

45 Healthy-ISH Cookies For Christmas

Balance out the holiday season with these healthy-ish holiday cookies and treats!

Boozy Christmas Cake Cupcakes - RunninSrilankan

Boozy Christmas Cake Cupcakes

Yield: 14 Cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Rich, dense and simply decadent, these Boozy Christmas Cupcakes are made with brandy, rose water and molasses soaked fruits, nuts, and spices - and are an exquisite treat to add to your Christmas dessert table!


For the boozy fruit/nut mix:

  • 2/3 cup Strawberry jam
  • 1/2 cup fruit and peel mix
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger
  • 12 medjool dates pitted, leave whole
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons rose water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup brandy

For the batter:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Spelt flour
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3 eggs


For the boozy fruit/nut mix:

  1. Add the Strawberry jam, fruit and peel mix, candied ginger, medjool dates, raisins, pecans, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, rose water, vanilla extract, molasses, maple syrup and brandy to a container, mix till well blended. Cover and keep in a cool dry place for 3-4 days.

For the Boozy Cupcakes:

  1. Then, on the 4th day -
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  3. Then place the boozy fruit/nut/spice mix in a food processer (this way you don't have to hand chop everything before) and pulse a few times.
  4. Then add in the light brown sugar, Spelt flour, butter and eggs into the food processor and pulse till well blended.
  5. Spoon mix into lined cupcake tray and bake for 45-50 minutes - check with a toothpick to make sure cupcakes are not sticking to it and are done.
  6. Let cool completely and enjoy.
  7. *The longer these sit, the better they seem to taste.
Nutrition Information
Yield 14 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 331Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 57mgSodium 78mgCarbohydrates 54gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 3gSugar 41gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 4g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram &/or Pinterest tagging @SavorySpin #SavorySpin

These Boozy Christmas Cupcakes were also featured in Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times ~ You can read the article here.

I’d love to know if you happen to make this recipe (or any other on here) so pretty please tag me @SavorySpin and #SavorySpin on InstagramTwitter &/or Facebook. And, if you haven’t yet, then please make sure to subscribe to my email list to have all sorts of eats, treats and delightful ramblings delivered right to your inbox! 

Easy Fruitcake Cookies Recipe - Savory Spin

Saturday 8th of April 2023

[…] Slices of Sri Lankan Christmas Cake were so incredibly treasured. And, to me, one of the reasons I enjoyed visiting numerous relatives and friends while we lived in Sri Lanka. A few years ago, I missed that Sri Lankan Christmas cake so much, I made these Christmas Cake Cupcakes. […]

One Pan Israeli Couscous with Chicken - Savory Spin

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

[…] well as split a Sri Lankan Christmas Cake Cupcake between […]

Easy Rustic Sausage Onion Tart Recipe - Savory Spin

Wednesday 8th of December 2021

[…] these Ginger Carrots, and this Brussels Sprouts Kale Sauté along with desserts like these Boozy Christmas Cupcakes and these refined sugar-free Orange Cardamom […]

Easy Christmas Salad Recipe - Savory Spin

Sunday 7th of November 2021

[…] Salad, Easy Meatless Veggie Balls, and this Easy Christmas Salad so I can enjoy treats like these Christmas Cake Cupcakes, these custard pies, pies made with this mincemeat, and these […]

Sri Lankan Love Cake Recipe (Eggless) - Savory Spin

Monday 22nd of February 2021

[…] cake, like Christmas Cake, is said to get better with age. If you seal it in an airtight […]

Skip to Recipe