Vanilla cupcakes with marzipan bees

    1 hour 45 min

    Plain vanilla cupcakes can be make very special with a topping of coloured buttercream and cute homemade marzipan bees. If you've never made your own marzipan before you won't believe how easy it is. Try this recipe and you'll never buy ready made marzipan again.


    London, England, UK
    8 people made this

    Makes: 12 cupcakes

    • 175g butter
    • 175g caster sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 eggs
    • 175g self-raising flour
    • For the buttercream
    • 450g icing sugar
    • 180g butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons milk, as needed
    • food colouring (daffodil, tangerine/apricot and pink, optional)
    • For the marzipan bees
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 1 teaspoon orange or apple juice
    • 100g ground almonds
    • 50g chocolate, melted
    • flaked almonds for the wings

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr45min 

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 C / Gas 3-4. Pop 12 cupcake cases into a muffin tray. Set aside.
    2. To make the cupcakes, add the butter and caster sugar to a bowl and mix well until combined.
    3. Add the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time mixing well after each egg.
    4. Finally, add the flour to the mixture and mix well until smooth, making sure you get all the flour off the edges of the bowl.
    5. Spoon an equal amount of batter into each cake case and bake until firm and golden brown, around 12 to 15 minutes. Put aside to cool.
    6. To make the buttercream

    7. Pop icing sugar, butter and vanilla into a bowl and beat until a smooth, thick buttercream is formed. If the buttercream is too stiff then add a little milk to loosen it up.
    8. If you want to do different coloured icing like I did, divide your buttercream into three equal portions and use food colouring to reach your desired colour for each batch.
    9. To make the marzipan bees

    10. Process egg yolk, honey, juice and almonds in the food processor until you get a firm ball of a smooth fine paste.
    11. Roll into 12 individual balls.
    12. Stick 2 flaked almonds into each bee to make the wings.
    13. Put your melted chocolate into a piping bag, snip off the end and use it to create stripes and eyes to complete your bees. Set aside to dry.
    14. To decorate the cupcakes

    15. Spoon your buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a 2D nozzle then use it to pipe buttercream roses. To do this start from the middle of the cupcake and make a couple of outward circles stopping when you reach the edge of the cupcake.
    16. Pop a marzipan bee onto each cupcake.

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