I baked these recently for a friend’s birthday and they went down well!  They’re an alternative to a birthday cake and this recipe makes between 24-30 mini cupcakes so plenty to share! You can easily buy mini cupcake cases in local supermarkets. They do contain alcohol so make sure you tell your guests!  (You’ll need one or two 24-hole mini muffin/cupcake tins)


For the sponge:

  • 100ml (3½ fl oz) white rum
  • 170g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 40g (1½  oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 120g (4oz) plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 large egg
  • 120ml (4fl oz) whole milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence


For the frosting:

  • 80g (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g (9 oz) icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 4 tsp whole milk
  • 4 tsp white rum
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp grated lime zest or finely chopped mint, to decorate



  1. Preheat oven to 170 C (325 F), gas mark 3 and line a mini muffin tin/mini cupcake tin with mini cupcake cases.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the white rum and 30g (1 oz) of the sugar to the boil, allowing it to reduce by about half then set aside.
  3. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, set on a low speed, beat together the butter, flour, salt, baking powder, lime and lemon zest, mint and remaining sugar.  Mix until the ingredients have come together and are crumb-like in consistency.
  4. Mix together the remaining ingredients for the sponge in a jug.  With the mixer or whisk still on a low speed, gradually pour the liquid ingredients into the flour and butter mixture and mix thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Spoon the cake batter into the paper cases, filling each up to two-thirds full.  Any remaining batter can be used to fill one to six more cases in a separate tin.  Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cupcakes are a light golden brown on top and springy to the touch.
  6. While the cupcakes are still warm, spoon about ½ teaspoon of the rum reduction over each cake, then leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  7. Using the electric whisk or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter, icing sugar, lemon and lime zest on a low speed until combined and sandy in consistency.  In a jug stir together the milk and rum then pour this into the butter and icing sugar while still mixing on a low speed.  When all the liquid ingredients have been incorporated, increase the speed to high and beat the frosting until light and fluffy.
  8. Divide the frosting between the cupcakes, smoothing it on with a palette knife.  To finish, mix the caster sugar with the grated lime zest or chopped mint in a small bowl, then sprinkle this on top of the frosted cupcakes.

(Courtesy of The Hummingbird Bakery ‘Cake Days’)

Judie Donovan