Escape to the kitchen this weekend and make these gorgeous glazed teatime buns
- 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
- 50g caster sugar
- 150ml warm milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
- oil, for greasing
- 25g softened butter, plus extra for greasing
- 85g dried apricot, finely chopped
- 85g toasted flaked almond, plus a few extra to decorate
- 25g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
MethodMake a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.
- 300g butter, softened
- 300g golden caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 250g plain flour
- 100g ground almond
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- zest 1 orange, plus 2 tbsp juice
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 200g butter, softened
- 450g icing sugar, plus a little extra
- 200g cream cheese
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- food colouring paste of your choice (we used a mixture of pink and yellow to create coral)
- 250g pack green sugar paste (or fondant icing mixed with green food colouring)
- 24 muffin cases (we used green ones)
- large piping bag
- large curved star point piping nozzle
- 15cm/6in styrofoam ball
- 15cm/6in flowerpot (measured across the top)
- green tissue paper
- sticky tape
- 24 short wooden skewers (or long ones cut in half)
- ribbon, to decorate (optional)
- Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3½. Line 2 x 12-hole muffin tins with muffin cases. Put the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl and blend with an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Add the flour, almonds, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix again, then add the orange zest and juice, and almond extract. Give a final mix to combine everything.
- Use 2 dessertspoons to divide the mixture between the cases. Bake for 22-25 mins, changing the tins over after 15 mins. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 10 mins in the tins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Can now be frozen for up to 3 months.
- To make the icing, tip the butter into a large bowl and blend with an electric hand whisk until smooth. Add the icing sugar, cream cheese, almond extract and orange juice. Mash everything together first with a spatula (to avoid a mess), then go in with the electric whisk and mix until smooth. Add your food colouring and mix again until you have an even colour. (If you’re using liquid food colouring, it will make the icing runny, so add a little more icing sugar.)
- Fit the piping bag with a large curved star point piping nozzle, then fill the bag with half of the icing and twist the end closed. To pipe, hold the piping bag directly above the centre of the cake and, applying a steady pressure, pipe in a swirl, working out towards the edge of the cupcake. When you reach the edge, swipe the nozzle to create a smooth finish – you can always cover this bit with leaves, so don’t worry too much if it looks messy. When you have piped 12 cupcakes, empty any remaining icing from the bag back into the bowl with the reserved icing. Add a little more colouring to create a deeper shade (and a little extra sifted icing sugar if the icing gets too runny). Whisk again, then refill your piping bag and ice the remaining cakes. Can be stored somewhere cool for up to 1 day (the fridge is fine, just make sure that you remove 30 mins before eating).
- Before serving, add a few leaves, if you like: pinch off small pieces of green sugar paste or fondant icing and shape into leaves. Use a sharp knife to add detail, then stick onto the cupcakes. See tips, below left, for how to build your bouquet.
- 250g pack butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 250g self-raising flour, plus an extra 2 tbsp
- 1 tsp baking powder
- zest 1 orange, plus 2 tbsp of the juice
- 250g natural marzipan, coarsely grated (easiest if chilled beforehand)
- ½ tsp almond essence, optional
- 200g glacé cherry, halved
- about 100g/4oz icing sugar, sifted
- mini chocolate eggs, to decorate
- Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and place 24 cupcake cases into cupcake tins. Beat the butter and sugar together with electric beaters or a tabletop mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 250g flour, baking powder, orange zest and juice and beat well till thick, creamy and evenly mixed.
- Toss cherries in the extra 2 tbsp flour and fold into the batter along with grated marzipan and almond essence (if using). Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 mins, or until well risen and golden. Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins, then place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Mix the icing sugar with around 1 tbsp water to make a loose but not-too-runny icing. Ice the tops of the cupcakes and top each one with about 3 mini chocolate eggs.
- 400g sweet shortcrust pastry
- 140g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
- 200g butter, softened
- 140g ground almonds
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 x 600ml jar apricot compote (I used Bonne Maman)
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
- icing sugar, Greek yogurt and clear honey, to serve
- 140g Madeira cake
- Roll out the pastry with a little flour until big enough to line a deep 20-23cm loosebottom tart tin. Line the tin with the pastry, leaving any excess overhanging. Chill or freeze for 30 mins.
- Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line the pastry with baking paper, fill with baking beans, then bake blind for 20 mins. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for 5 mins more until the pastry is pale biscuit coloured.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Whizz the Madeira cake in a food processor, then tip into a large bowl with the flour, butter, ground almonds, caster sugar and eggs. Briefly beat together until smooth.
- Reduce oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Tip the compote into the pastry case and spread to cover the base. Spoon over the almond mixture and gently spread to cover the compote. Scatter with the flaked almonds, then bake for 1 hr until golden and firm to the touch. Remove onto a serving plate and serve slightly warm, dusted with icing sugar with Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey alongside.