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Simnel Cupcakes on a glass dish decorated with icing and chocolate eggs
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Simnel Cupcakes

Simnel Cupcakes are crammed with fruit and marzipan, flavoured with orange, and topped with icing and chocolate eggs.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Teatime
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Easter cupcakes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: [email protected] Cooks


For the cake mixture:

  • 1 large unwaxed orange
  • 250 g dried mixed fruit
  • 175 g butter
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 20 ml milk
  • 250 g self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder (2.5ml)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice (5ml)
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg (2.5ml)
  • 50 g marmalade

For the filling and decoration:

  • 150 g marzipan
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 1 sachet powdered egg white (15ml or 1 tablespoon)
  • 20-30 ml warm water
  • chocolate mini eggs



  • Zest the orange and put into a bowl big enough for the dried fruit.
    If you're using a grater, try to keep just the orange zest, not the white pith underneath
  • Juice the orange. Put in the bowl with the zest and mix to distribute the zest
  • Add the fruit to the bowl and stir to cover in juice. Set aside.
    If you have time, leave the fruit for an hour
  • Set the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/ gas mark 4/ 350°F
  • Set out the paper cases in the muffin tin
  • Divide the marzipan into 12 pieces and put in the fridge.

For the Simnel Cupcakes:

  • Put the remaining cake ingredients, except the marmalade, into a bowl.
    (Butter, sugar, eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, mixed spice, nutmeg)
  • Mix together well
    About 2 minutes on high with an electric mixer, 1- 1 ½ minutes in a food processor
  • Scrape down with a spatula. Add the marmalade and mix again briefly
  • Stir in the fruit and orange mixture by hand to avoid breaking the fruit
  • Half fill the paper cases with mixture. Flatten a ball of marzipan into a round disc and place on top of the mixture in each paper case. Spoon the remaining mixture on top of the marzipan
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when lightly touched on top
  • Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool.


  • Sift the icing sugar and dried egg white into a bowl. Mix the powders carefully with a spoon, to avoid sugar everywhere
    If your icing sugar is new and looks okay, you may not need to bother (I didn’t, but I would for non-family guests)
  • Add the water to the sugar a little at a time and mix until it is spreadable, but not too runny.
    You may not need all the water
  • Coat the top of the cake with icing and arrange chocolate eggs on top.



Everyday Cooks tips:
  • If you prefer. you can use orange liqueur instead of orange juice
  • Decorate with marzipan shapes instead of chocolate eggs for a non-Easter treat
  • The cakes will keep in an airtight container for up to a week, longer in the fridge.