Preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas mark 2. Line 2 x 12 hole cupcake tins with paper fairy cake cases.
Tip the sugar, butter, dried fruit, grated ginger, orange zest and juice into a large pan. Turn the heat on and slowly bring to the boil, stirring frequently to melt the butter. Reduce the heat and bubble gently for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Remove the fruit mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly, before stirring in the chopped nuts, beaten eggs and ground almonds.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and spices and stir everything together, gently but thoroughly.
Scoop the cake mix into the cake cases then level tops with a spoon dipped in hot water. Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden and just firm to touch. A skewer inserted should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Make up the fondant icing as per pack instructions to a spreading consistency. Swirl the icing on top of each cupcake with a spoon or palette knife, then leave to set.
Decorate as desired, you could use fresh holly leaves (wiped clean), edible sprinkles, shapes cut out of coloured sugar paste, marzipan snowmen, or Christmas sweets (such as candy canes).
Cook's tip: These little cakes will keep in a tin for 3 weeks.