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Twelfth Night Lemon Cardamom Marzipan Cakes

Twelfth Night Cakes

Leftovers, Small Cakes | 10th January 2016 | By

Every year I mean to mark Twelfth Night by making a special cake and every year I manage not to do it – until now. When it comes to cake, I associate Twelfth Night with marzipan, so although I didn’t intend to make a traditional King Cake or similar this year, I did want to include almond paste. And as I still had plenty of lemons left from my 3pFruits box, lemon marzipan cakes it was to be.

Twelfth Night is the last day of Christmas and is traditionally the day the festive decorations are taken down in the UK. It celebrates Epiphany on the 6th January, the day the three kings visited the newly born Jesus. As well as consuming the hot and spicy punch called wassail, a cake used to be baked with a bean stuck inside it. Whoever got the bean became King for the rest of the day. This has largely died out here, although the custom is still alive in many parts of Europe, especially France and Spain.

Lemon Marzipan Cakes

I ended up adapting Ruby Tandoh’s recipe for Lemon & Marzipan Cupcakes from her book Crumb; it had been tempting me for some time. However, in my eyes, these are not cupcakes. Cupcakes have some sort of icing on top and these ones don’t; there is plenty going on without it. I made them a bit more lemony than Ruby, included one of my favourite spices, cardamom and changed a few other ingredients. The result was superb: a definite lemony zing and sharpness with subtle notes of cardamom coming through and bursts of sweet caramelised marzipan.

Twelfth Night Lemon Cardamom Marzipan Cakes
Yields 12
Sharp zingy lemon cakes with a light sponge. Subtle notes of cardamom add depth and the marzipan melts to give a certain sweet almondy stickiness.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 125g unsalted butter
  2. 75g golden caster sugar (I used cardamom sugar)
  3. 3 cardamom pods - seeds extracted and ground
  4. 1 large organic or unwaxed lemon
  5. 60g wholemeal flour
  6. 60g plain flour
  7. 60g ground almonds
  8. 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 200g marzipan - half grated, half cut into small cubes.
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Grate in the zest of the lemon, add the ground cardamom and cream a bit more.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one by one.
  4. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir.
  5. Juice the lemon and stir in gently with the grated marzipan until everything is just combined.
  6. Gently stir in the cubed marzipan.
  7. Spoon into twelve cupcake cases and bake at 180℃ for about 20 minutes or until the cakes are golden and well risen.
  8. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Lemon & Marzipan Cupcakes by Ruby Tandoh
Adapted from Lemon & Marzipan Cupcakes by Ruby Tandoh
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/
No Waste Food Challenge badgeThis is a great way to use up leftover Christmas marzipan and as such I’m sending it to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary for the No Waste Food Challenge.

 

 

Love Cake LogoFor similar reasons, these Twelfth Night cakes go to Love Cake over at JibberJabberUK.

 

 

Treat Petite LogoI don’t think I can claim these cakes are healthy, but they do include lemon, so I’m sending this off to Kat at Baking Explorer and Cakeyboi for this month’s Treat Petite where the theme is fruit and veg.

 

 

Simply EggcellentDom over at Belleau Kitchen tells us we need a healthy element in our Simply Eggcellent recipes this month. Well there’s not a great deal that’s healthy here, but I did use wholemeal flour and almonds are ever so good for you, so I’m winging it.

Other recipe for Twelfth Night cakes you might like

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Henk Kooiman
    10th January 2016

    This is my kind of cake ! Next comment will be about my experience having made them 😉

  2. Leave a Reply

    Kat (The Baking Explorer)
    10th January 2016

    I love the mixture of flavours that you’ve used and those bright cupcake cases are fantastic! Thanks for entering into Treat Petite.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      10th January 2016

      Thanks Kat. These are my favourite cases, but I bought them years ago and haven’t come across any similar since.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Heidi Roberts
    10th January 2016

    The little cakes look really lovely, anything with marzipan gets my interest!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Alicia (foodycat)
    10th January 2016

    I know exactly what you mean about *meaning* to do something for 12th Night! Only… I never do. These sound so delicious though!

  5. Leave a Reply

    lisa
    10th January 2016

    I’d seen a few twelfth night posts but not realised what it was! Thanks to your post now I do! These sound fab, I love lemon and cardamom, perfect combination. x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th January 2016

      Thanks Lisa, it’s a really big celebration in some parts of the world, but seems to be mostly forgotten over here.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Nadia's Healthy Kitchen
    10th January 2016

    Ooo they look delish! The flavour combination is interesting, I haven’t had anything that combines those 3 flavours, but I imagine they go really well together 😀

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th January 2016

      Oh yes Nadia, you must try it. I’ve used lemon, almond and cardamom together many times and the combination is a real winner.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Phil in the Kitchen
    10th January 2016

    I greatly admire the fact that you made a 12th night cake. I used to bake something years ago and I always mean to do it again but never do. I think it’s because everyone I know is on a diet in January and refuses to eat cake. I’m currently more than a little obsessed by cardamom in cakes so this is definitely for me. The flavours are just right for this time of winter somehow.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th January 2016

      Haha Phil, it’s taken me long enough and of course it’s by no means a traditional one. As for diet, that’s a dirty word in our household 😉

  8. Leave a Reply

    Susan
    10th January 2016

    Cardamom is one of the most under rated spices there are … combine it with almonds and it really does shine! I’ve found it lovely in some Swedish cake recipes that I found in an old cook book of Scandinavian cuisine. Your little cakes look delish!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th January 2016

      Hello Susan, lovely to hear from you. Happy New Year. I wonder why the Scandinavians cottoned on to cardamom and we never did in the UK. Luckily things are changing now.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Angela / Only Crumbs Remain
    11th January 2016

    Ooh these sound glorious, flavours when I adore. I must admit that I’ve never heard of a Wassail cake – it sounds very interesting., nor have I ever made a Twelfth Night Cake, I’ll have to try to remedy that next year!
    Angela x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th January 2016

      Thank you Angela. A Wassail cake sounds like a lovely idea – I might borrow that idea for next year 😉

  10. Leave a Reply

    Corina
    11th January 2016

    I am such a fan of marzipan and these cupcakes are an inspired way of using up the leftovers after making a Christmas cake. I love the lemon and cardamom flavours in them too.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      12th January 2016

      Thanks Angie, I’m sucker for all of these flavours and definitely for marzipan.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Elizabeth
    12th January 2016

    Oh this sounds amazing! I could go one of these with my coffee right now. It feels like absolutely forever since I last had cake (I’m on a fitness mission!). Thank you for linking up with the No Waste Food Challenge – there’s a new logo too, for the new year! 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      13th January 2016

      The excuse is, if ever you needed one, that the cakes are just getting rid of surplus Christmas ingredients!

  12. Leave a Reply

    Dom
    12th January 2016

    oh yes…. Lemon, cardamom and ground almond. I love the texture. Very nice… can I have one now please?

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      13th January 2016

      If you’d just like to pop round Dom, I’m sure I can spare you one 😉

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th January 2016

      Yep, I can attest these went very well with a cup of tea Becca 😉

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th January 2016

      Haha Cathy, I used to love history at school, but sadly, I’ve forgotten far more than I ever knew. Luckily, the cake flavours were fab.

  13. Leave a Reply

    Sarah James
    14th January 2016

    What a great way to use up leftover marzipan, I love the sound of cardamom and lemon, delicious.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th January 2016

      I’ve made many a cardamom and lemon bake, it really is a lovely combination.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Nayna Kanabar
    14th January 2016

    What a great reason to bake a cake as if anyone really needs an excuse to bake a cake!!! I love your flavours lemon and cardamom.

  15. Leave a Reply

    Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe
    15th January 2016

    sounds lovely – love marzipan in cakes – I liked the idea of celebrating the epiphany but this year I was so busy I could barely get my christmas decorations off the tree and had to take the rest down the next day. I imagine that people would probably sue over the bean in the king cake if they broke a tooth these days so it is just another public liability issue 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th January 2016

      Haha, you’re probably right Johanna. How times change. Yes marzipan gives such a nice sticky sort of texture in cakes as well as good flavour. Hope things have calmed down for you a bit.

  16. Leave a Reply

    Kate - gluten free alchemist
    15th January 2016

    Ooooohhhh lovely! Marzipan in lemony cake sounds lush, especially with a hint of cardamom. Perfectly golden and beautifully moist…… bet they didn’t last long!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th January 2016

      Oh yes, I forgot you had a thing about marzipan Jac – but it’s so delicious 😉

  17. Leave a Reply

    Ness
    28th January 2016

    I love marzipan so it is rare I have any left as I tend to scoff the leftovers! I always mean to make for Twelfth Night but never get round to it but these look like something I can whip up. I think they would also work well at Easter. I always think of Easter and lemons!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      29th January 2016

      Yes Ness, you’re right about Easter. The yellow of lemons is a good fit and of course marzipan is too.

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