Monday 9 April 2012

Easter Baking recipes from Great British Bake Off Finalist Holly Bell

*** Don't miss my fab giveaway right here where you can win an Easter baking hamper from Natural Selection ! ***

Natural Selection, the UK’s leading supplier of dried fruit, has teamed up with Great British Bake Off Finalist Holly Bell on a campaign focusing on Easter Baking. Holly has produced two lovely seasonal recipes -Mini Simnel Cupcakes and a Scone Loaf - which you will find below. (You can also follow her blog,, for many more yummy recipes.) What better way to spend your Easter Monday than getting in the kitchen and knocking up some more delicious things to eat ?! Also, if you ‘Like’ Natural Selection Foods on Facebook, you’ll be able to take advantage of an exclusive offer – there’s a coupon that you can print to save £1 on bags of Natural selection Foods at ASDA and Sainsbury’s. Even better news - there's a giveaway right here on my blog where you can win a lovely hamper full of Natural Selection products and baking goodies, including the Great British Bake Off recipe book.


Mini Simnel cupcakes

For the cake:
-          20mls ginger wine
-          25g Natural Selection crimson raisins
-          20g Natural Selection crystallised ginger, finely chopped
-          25g Natural Selection dates, cut into quarters
-          25g Natural Selection apricots
-          100g self-raising flour
-          60g ground almonds
-          100g caster sugar
-          50g dark muscavado sugar
-          150g soft butter/margarine
-          3 large eggs at room temperature
-          ½ tsp baking powder
-          1 tsp ground mixed spice
-          2 tbsp whole/semi skimmed milk

To decorate:

-          150g marzipan
-          3 tbsp apricot jam, sieved
-          Either an extra 150g marzipan/a packet of tiny chocolate eggs
-          A little icing sugar for rolling/shaping marzipan

Preheat the oven to Gas 5/190C. Place 12 cupcake cases into a tray. Heat the ginger wine in a small pan together with all the dried fruit until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Place the remaining cake ingredients into a bowl and mix together with an electric handheld mixer until smooth and creamy. Stir in the soaked fruit and then divide between the cupcake cases. Level with your fingers and bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 20 minutes until slightly brown, well risen and a toothpick comes out of the centre of the middle cupcakes with clean. Cool out of the tin, on a wire rack.

Once cool, brush a little jam onto each cake and then roll and cut out circles of marzipan (using icing sugar to aid rolling and a round cutter) to place on top. Then either add 11 small balls of marzipan to the top of each cake or 11 tiny chocolate eggs. Fix in place with a dab of jam.


Easter Apostles Scone Loaf

Preheat the oven to Gas 7/220C and check the rack is in the centre of the oven. Lightly grease a baking tray with a little butter or margarine. Mix the flour, baking powder, mixed spice and zests in a large bowl. Rub in the margarine or butter with your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir the almonds, cranberries, ginger, apricots and raisins in well so they’re all coated in the flour mixture.

Pour the milk over the mixture and pull together with a blunt table knife. Once combined use your hand to pull the scone together. The less handling the better when making scones so don’t mix or knead vigorously.

Place the scone dough on your tray and shape with your hands into a loaf shape about 1 inch thick. Score the top with a sharp knife, about a quarter of the way down, in a zig-zag fashion to make 11 triangles (one for each Apostle, to break off easily.) Bake immediately for between 20 – 25 minutes until golden all over. Dust with icing sugar if you wish.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :


  1. Haven't heard of the Apostles' loaf, looks very appetising. :)

  2. Awww look at the tiny marzipan balls on the cupcakes! LOVE THEM! :)

  3. Wow look fab!!


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