Gluten Free Hot-Cross Cupcakes

A little different perhaps, but I tried making actual gluten free hot cross buns last year. It’s not that I have lost patience it’s just a matter of time and energy 😀

These are really quick and easy to make. Dare I say you could make them using the all-in-one recipe, but they wouldn’t be as light and fluffy. So I would urge you to use the following method.

Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180c and line a cupcake/muffin tray with 12 cases.

175g soft butter

80g caster sugar

80g light brown sugar

3 eggs

170g gluten free self raising flour

2/3rds teaspoon of mixed spice

80g sultanas

60g icing sugar to finish

Cream the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy, using an electric hand mixer, then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour along the way to stop the mix from curdling.

Add the sultanas to the rest of the flour and toss them to coat in flour. Then stir this and the mixed spice into the butter and egg mix. Stir to mix well.  Then divide the mix into the 12 empty cases. They will be a little fuller than normal as you are not putting a huge amount of buttercream on the top when they’re cooked.

Cook in the oven for about 18 – 22 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin before removing on to a wire rack.

Mix the icing sugar with some hot water until you have a thick paste, thick enough to pipe onto the cakes and leave to defined crosses. When piping, snip the end to the size of your cross, pipe one way across the cakes and then the other.

Leave the icing to set a little, before enjoying.

Marzipan Roulette

We don’t need an excuse to eat marzipan.

Perhaps putting some on top of a cupcake is a little extreme, after all why not just do away with the cupcake?!  But sometimes there’s a need to go that extra step and over indulge or just because you can.

There is no better way of over indulging with marzipan than a good bite or two of Niederegger Marzipan and because it’s Niederegger there’s a call for something a little extra in the mix.

Pre heat the oven to Gas 3/170c line a 12 muffin tray with your chosen colour cupcake cases. This makes 12 cupcakes but the small pack of Niederegger only has 8 marzipan bites…someone is going to be let down…..😀 and then it’s marzipan roulette…Coffee, Pineapple, Orange or Pistachio…or buy the bigger box….

For the cupcakes –

150g soft butter

150g caster sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons Almond essence

150g gluten free self raising flour

For the filling –

120g Raspberry Jam

For the buttercream –

100g soft butter

170g icing sugar

30g cocoa

4 tablespoons milk

4 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur

1 pack of Niederegger Marzipan Loaves

Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one by one, adding a spoon of flour to stop the mix from curdling. Mix in the essence and stir in the gluten free flour. Don’t over mix, otherwise you’ll take the air out of the mix and the finished cakes will be a little heavy.

Divide the mix between the 12 cases and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Or until an inser.ted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before removing and putting them on a wire rack.

Once cooled and using a cupcake corer, take out the middle of the cupcakes and fill with a teaspoon of the raspberry jam. Then make the chocolate buttercream.

Beat the butter until it’s light and fluffy, using an electric hand whisk, then carefully stir in the icing sugar and cocoa to avoid a dust cloud. Then beat again with the mixer until fully mixed, then beat in the milk and liqueur. Pipe onto the cupcakes and finish with the unwrapped marzipan loaves…or if you buy a larger box, you’ll have a spare one or two to ……

Ad – Fancy buying some rather delicious Niederegger Marzipan for a ‘friend’?? Click the link and choose…


Happy Mothers Day new and old

To all the lovely mums out there. You do an amazing job. ❤️

You are always there when you are needed and always there when we think better. You are always there because  if you weren’t there would have been hell to pay for.  You feel unappreciated and undervalued. Without you we wouldn’t get to school on time, without you ‘stuff’ wouldn’t get done.

You are everything and you are more.  To all the mums, you are loved and needed. It might take us until our adulthood to realise that or even when we have children of our own, but we very much appreciate you. Thank you ❤️

I do love a bit of developing recipes, and this seemed a great time to look at something different.


Based around a carrot cake in method and baking this moist cake will make a great centre piece for Mothers Day and even for Easter. If you can make it a day or 2 in advance before topping – it will keep in a sealed container for 2 days – the flavour improves as the spice flavour comes out a little more.

Preheat the oven to gas 3/150c and line (base and sides) an 8″ round cake tin with a loose base.

For the cake –

  • 170g light brown sugar
  • 180ml sunflower oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 120g grated carrots
  • 80g chopped dried figs
  • 180g gluten free self raising flour
  • 75g shelled, broken pistachios
  • 2/3rds level teaspoon speculaas spice

For the topping –

  • 200g mascarpone cheese
  • 120g passion fruit curd (I use Mrs Darlington’s)
  • 4 fresh figs – each sliced into 6 pieces
  • 25g additional pistachios, crushed or broken up

To make the cake, whisk the oil, sugar and eggs until fully beaten and blended together. Stir in the chopped figs and carrot. Toss the broken nuts into the gluten free flour and spice and then stir into the cake mix.  It’ll be a bit runny, so take care when poring into the cake tin.  Bake in the middle of the oven for about  45 – 50 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool in the tin before removing from the tin and remove the greaseproof paper from the cake.  Cool completely on a wire rack. If storing at this stage, pop in the sealed container. Otherwise carry on to top.

To make the topping, whisk the curd into the mascarpone and spread over the top of the cake, decorate with the fresh figs and scatter with the broken nuts.  Slice.

And before anyone asks – I am sadly not on commission from Mrs Darlington’s.  It is a local producer to me and they make a fantastic range of products – some of which are award-winning, they taste fantastic – it’s why I use them.  Just in case you were thinking 🙂

Ad – but if you need some new baking supplies try clicking this link to Amazon for you baking needs, like a new cake tin



Gluten Free Easter Simnel Cake

Its Easter time! And I love Easter.

New beginnings, fresh mornings and newly flowering bulbs.  The fresh smell of spring, the lighter evenings and the promise of brighter times ahead. And of course chocolate…..

Our Easter Sunday should begin with an Easter Egg Hunt in the garden, all being well and weather permitting. I will hide the eggs around the garden, drawing myself a little map as to where I have hidden the eggs! (I’ve such a bad memory – that and Noah found a loose egg the other month, having been in the garden for nearly a year!!) Then let the children free…

Failing that I’ll be doing the hunt in the house! Which I’m sure will be just as fun. For the sake of clarity, they’ll be Cadbury Easter Eggs – of varying sizes…I’m sure we’ll have to make sure that each of the children find the same amount of eggs though. All in the name of fairness and equality.

This year Easter Sunday will be spent as usual with the family and this year some extras of the slightly more extended family. A house full of family, and with any luck I’ll be doing what I love best – the cooking.

But oddly enough I have only recently found something new for Easter, the gluten free Simnel Cake. Which is a bit of a surprise really, considering my/our love of all things marzipan!

Last year I baked a lovely Nordic Ware Bundt Easter Simnel Cake, this year I have decided to make smaller, more individual ones, using my Lakeland Mini Cake tray.

Gluten Free Easter Simnel Cake

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 1 or 140c and lightly grease the inside of the cake tins.  You’ll need the following;

180g soft butter

150g light brown sugar

3 eggs

160g Dove Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour

1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice

400g dried fruit – I used 200g sultana, 150g raisins and 50g chopped glace cherries

zest only of 1 orange (optional)

300g ready to use marzipan

apricot jam for brushing the marzipan onto the finished, cooled cakes.

Firstly cream the soft butter and sugar until soft and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time until fully mixed. You may need to add a bit of the gluten free flour, to stop the mix from splitting. Then mix in the rest of the flour, the spice (zest if using) and the fruit until fully combined.

Split the mix in half and then divide this into the 12 hole mini cake tin.

Take roughly a third of the marzipan, and roll out, then cut using a 6cm pastry cutter. re-rolling if required to get 12 small discs. Place one of these discs onto each of the raw mix in the cake tin, then top off,  using the other half of the gluten free simnel cake mix.

Bake slowly in the oven for 40 – 50 mins.


Leave to cool in the tin, before removing and then cool completely before finishing the cakes.

To finish the cakes, roll half of the remaining marzipan and using the same pastry cutter – this time with a frilly edge – cut out 12 circles. And with the remaining piece of marzipan roll 12 small balls of marzipan to place on top of the finished gluten free cakes. Warm the apricot jam gently in a microwave for about 20 seconds. This will make brushing easier. Brush each gluten free simnel cake with a small amount of apricot jam and place on, a disc of marzipan, repeat for the other 11 small cakes and finish with a ball of marzipan.

To get the glazed effect I used a small hand-held blow torch, but you can get a similar effect by glazing the tops of the marzipan with beaten egg and placing under a very hot grill for a couple of minutes. Take not to burn the marzipan, so keep your eye of the cakes.

Happy Easter to each and every one of you 🙂

AD – Fancy buying some Easter Eggs? Click the link to Amazon to take your pick,aps,162&crid=2XO8K74LR51LM&linkCode=ll2&tag=wwwcakesbynoa-21&linkId=ebea7d826b58f699f891bd847394c8e0