Bake: Easter Simnel Cupcakes

It’s the start of the Easter weekend – hurrah! – and there’s just enough time to squeeze in another delicious bake before the Easter bunny arrives on Sunday.

We’ve been making rich, sweet Simnel cupcakes at The Milly Pad and they’re super tasty. Simnel cake dates back to medieval times; it’s traditionally made as one large cake with eleven marzipan balls, representing eleven of Jesus’ twelve apostles – minus Judas. This recipe makes twelve yummy cupcakes each with their own delicious golden marzipan blob.

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You will need:

  • 150g butter at room temperature – I always use Anchor salted
  • 110g muscovado sugar
  • 2 medium free range eggs
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 125g of mixed dried fruit – I used golden raisins, currants and mixed peel all muddled up together
  • 1 lemons worth of fresh lemon juice
  • 500g marzipan
  • 2 large dollops of apricot jam
  • Icing sugar for dusting

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Preheat the oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with cases to contain twelve muffins.

Put both the butter and the sugar in a bowl and beat together until the mixture is light and creamy – if your butter is super hard, melt it slightly to soften it.

Beat in the eggs and sieve in the flour, the mixed dried fruit and the lemon juice.

Cut off a 60g chunk of marzipan and divide this into 12 equal lumps.

Add a spoonful of mixture into each muffin case, followed by a lump of marzipan and then add another dollop of the mixture until you’ve used it all.

Bake the cakes in the oven for around 15 to 20 minutes, until they have risen and are a golden brown. Once you’re happy they’re baked through, cool them on a wire rack.

Roll out the remaining marzipan and using a round cookie cutter, cut twelve circles. Make sure the cutter is roughly the same size as the tops of the cakes. Mine also has a frilled edge which makes the marzipan extra pretty.

Remove the muffin cases, brush apricot jam onto the top of each cake followed by a circle of marzipan. Divide the leftover marzipan into 12 pieces and roll them into balls. Stick a ball onto the top of each cake, using a little bit more apricot jam.

Heat the grill on the oven and pop the cakes underneath just for a minute or so to lightly brown the marzipan. Finally, dust the cakes with icing sugar and place them on a beautiful plate – Top Tip – the yellow marzipan looks fabulous with blue and white vintage china.

Try not to eat them all at once and have a gorgeous Easter weekend!

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