Simnel cake cupcakes recipe

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Dan Lepard pays homage to the Easter simnel cake: a layer of golden marzipan runs through the center of each cupcake, while the cream cheese helps to keep these mini-fruitcakes moist.


  • about 450g/1lb marzipan
  • 275g/9¾oz caster sugar
  • 150ml/5fl oz sunflower oil
  • 50g/1¾oz honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g/2½oz cream cheese
  • 4 medium free-range eggs
  • 150g/5½oz currants
  • 75g/2½oz raisins
  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • icing sugar, for rolling
  • edible gold balls, to decorate


  1. Place 12 paper muffin cases in the pockets of a muffin tray, and preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Roll the marzipan out to about 3mm/⅛in thick and cut two sets of discs, a dozen of each: one measuring about 5cm/2in diameter and the other about 6cm/2½in. Stack these on a plate while you make the cake mixture.
  3. Beat the sugar, oil, honey, vanilla, and cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth, then beat in the eggs until thoroughly mixed through. Stir in the currants and raisins, then sift in the flour, baking powder, and mixed spice, and stir well.
  4. Spoon about 1-2cm/½-¾in of cake mixture into each paper-lined pocket, lay one of the small marzipan disks on it and press it down gently to remove any air pockets, then spoon more of the mixture on top to three-quarter fill the papers. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer pocked in comes out almost clean.
  5. When the cakes are out of the oven, place a disc of marzipan on each and very gently press it down and around: the heat from the cupcake will soften the marzipan and seal it on. Then press eleven gold balls around the edge of the marzipan on each cake and leave to cool.

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