Simnel Muffins

Simnel cake is an Easter tradition, and this muffin variant is great on its own or even served as a dessert.

Like many people, some of my guests aren’t that keen on Marzipan so I’ve left that out and made a few ‘plain’ versions.  But don’t let that put you off – without the marzipan these lose that sickly-sweet edge and the spice and orange really stand out

NB: If using the marzipan, the disc on the base has a habit of sticking to the paper, especially if you’re in a rush to try that first one fresh out of the oven before its fully cooled

Makes 18


  • 150g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 50g Golden Castor Sugar
  • 200g Butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 450g Plain Flour
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Mixed Spice
  • 125g Glace Cherries
  • 125g Raisins
  • 50g Dried Cranberries
  • A little Dried Orange Peel
  • Zest of 2 Clematines
  • 100ml Milk

For the Marzipan Option:

  • 1 Egg
  • 25g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 300g Marzipan


  • In a mixing bowl cream together the sugar, butter and 3 eggs until smooth
  • Gradually sift in the dry ingredients and milk and beat into a batter
  • Add the fruit peel and zest and mix well
  • Line 18 muffin tins with paper cases
  • Roll out a small amount of the marzipan (if using) into thin strip and cut into circles, just large enough to drop into the bottom of each muffin case
  • Spoon the batter over the marzipan disc
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg and sugar, dice up all of the remaining marzipan and stir in
  • Spoon the marzipan mixture over the top of the muffin batter in each case
  • Bake at 160oC Fan for about 30 minutes until fully cooked and golden brown – check by prodding with a metal skewer and ensure it comes out cleanly

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