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Simnel Muffins

Simnel cake is a time-honored traditional treat in Britain at Easter: it’s a fruitcake topped with 12 marzipan balls to represent the 12 disciples of Christ. In this lovely twist, dried fruit is baked with marzipan in an orange-scented muffin which is topped with an orange icing and mini chocolate Easter eggs. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee, this is a wonderful way to celebrate Easter!

Simnel Muffins

8½ oz. dried fruit (about 2 cups) (we used raisins, currants, blueberries, and cherries)
grated zest and juice of 1 medium orange
6 oz. butter, softened (12 tbs.)
6⅓ oz. golden caster sugar (¾ cup plus 1 tbs.)
3 eggs, beaten
10½ oz. self-rising flour (2 cups plus 2 tbs.)
1 tsp. mixed spice
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
5 tbs. milk
6 oz. marzipan
7 oz. confectioner’s sugar (1½ cups)
2 tsp. orange juice
mini chocolate eggs

Tip the fruit into a bowl and add the orange  zest and juice. Leave to sit for an hour or microwave on 50% power for 2 minutes. Line 12 muffin tin holes with cases and heat the oven to 350°F.

Beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, mixed spice, nutmeg, and milk until light and fluffy. Stir in the fruit.

Fill the muffin cases half way, then divide the marzipan into 12 pieces and flatten slightly. Place one piece in each muffin case, then fill with the remaining batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until risen and golden. Leave to cool.

Stir together the confectioner’s sugar and the orange juice to make a thick icing. Spread over the muffins and top with the chocolate eggs.

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