Simnel Cupcakes, a delicious twist on the classic Easter cake recipe, but so much quicker and easier to make. A light sponge packed with dried fruit and hidden marzipan eggs, and topped with a layer of marzipan and marzipan balls- this really is the ultimate Spring treat. Perfect for Mother's Day too.
Mix the dried fruit with the orange juice, and simmer on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes for the fruit to soak up some of the juice.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the soften butter with the sugar, and use a hand mixer to beat well to get a creamy texture.
Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.
In go the dried fruit and the juice that has not been absorbed, sifted flour and mixed spice.
Use a spatula to mix everything into a batter.
Line a muffin tin with muffin/cupcake cases - the batter was enough for 10 cupcakes.
Cut a quarter of the marzipan out and roll 10 small balls/eggs.
Quarter fill each case with batter, add the marzipan ball, then cover with more batter.
Bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 25 minutes until golden and firm to touch, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave to cool completely.
Warm up the apricot jam to make it easier to spread.
Brush each cupcake top with jam.
Use a quarter of the remaining marzipan to form other 10 balls, the rest can be rolled to a 1/4 cm thickness.
Use a cookie cutter or a cup to cut out 10 circles.
Top each cupcake with a marzipan circle and a ball.
Place under the grill for a minute or so for the top to brown lightly.