The first time I made Delia’s spiced cranberry cakes I substituted with lingonberry jam, because I had a jar in my cupboard and, looking at my notes, I must have been on some random substitution experiment, because it wasn’t the only deviation. As far as I can recall, they tasted sufficiently cake-like – there are no dire warnings scribbled anywhere, at any rate.

This time, I followed the recipe, from Delia Smith’s Cakes book, a bit more closely, only really deviating with the decoration.

Ingredients:

150g plain flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 level dessertspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

zest and juice of 1 large orange

1 large egg

75g golden caster sugar

1 tbsp milk

50g butter, melted

225g cranberries – actually, I only used 200g: I could only find them in bags of 100g, and didn’t want to buy a third. Also, I now realise Delia wanted me to use fresh ones, not dried. Oops.

glace icing to decorate – Delia also wants you to cover some spare cranberries in caster sugar and pop a couple on top of each cake. I didn’t, due to not having spare cranberries. Instead, I used orange slices.

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6 and line a muffin-tray with cases. Delia thinks this makes 6, but I got 8. Two for testing before M gets home!

In one bowl, sift the flour, spices, baking powder and salt. In another, mix the orange zest, juice, egg, sugar and butter. Fold the one into the other (preferably dry into wet: I grated the zest straight into the flour mix, and then poured wet into dry, because I only have one mixing bowl). Try not to beat or stir too much, just fold. Fold in the cranberries and spoon into muffin cases.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and leave to cool on a wire-rack before icing.

Serve with tea, about mid-afternoon. These are really perfect for this time of year if you don’t want a heavy fruit-cake, or an icing-rich cupcake, and you’ve had enough of mince pies.