The Simnel cake is a traditional Easter recipe tracing back to the 13th Century, eaten during the days of lent or on Easter day itself. More recently, the cake has been given as a gift on Mothering Sunday. The word Simnel originates from the Latin Simila which means 'fine flour', referring to the white flour used in the cake. With this recipe, we take the conventional large marzipan layered Simnel cake and divide it up into chocolate egg covered cupcakes, perfect for sharing! Preparation time: 15 mins Baking time: 25-30 mins Makes 12 large cupcakes
225g self raising flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp mixed spice 1 tsp baking powder 115g soft brown sugar 115g butter, softened 225g dried fruit (we used 50g cranberries and 175g mixed dried fruit) 2 large eggs 2 tbsp milk 225g marzipan Chocolate eggs to decorate A little apricot jam to brush the cupcake tops
Method:1. Preheat oven 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tray with cases. Roll out the marzipan to an even thickness of approx 2-3 mm. Cut out twelve rounds 6cm wide, these will be going in the centre of the cakes. Also cut out twelve shapes to go on the top of the finished cakes. We used flower cutters for ours. 2. With the exception of the marzipan, jam and chocolate eggs, place all the other ingredients in a bowl and beat until thoroughly combined and creamy. Spoon into the cases to approx 2cm deep. Then, lay a marzipan round on top and flatten down slightly. Continue spooning the mix on top of the marzipan layer until evenly distributed. 3. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden and firm to the touch. An inserted skewer should come out clean (just remember you have marzipan in there too!) Transfer to a cooling rack. 4. When cooled, brush the tops with a little apricot jam and place the marzipan discs on. Add further decorations as required. The cakes will keep for up to 5 days in a tin. TIP: * This is a great way to use up any dried fruits that are left from Christmas time. Alter the spices to your taste to customise your cupcakes.
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