Recipe: New Year cup cakes

By Annabel Karmel, October 3, 2008

I like to make individual cup cakes and, naturally, at this time of year they are made with honey. This recipe only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. If you are feeling creative you can make edible bees to decorate them. I recently visited a bee farm to research a book I'm writing which explains to children where their food comes from. Did you know that the worker bees are all females who, in a lifetime, make only a teaspoon of honey. Male bees do not make honey, have no sting and after mating they immediately die. Evidently they leave part of their anatomy behind!

If this year is going to be bitter sweet (a bit like the male bees' last hour) maybe we should symbolise it with honey and soy sauce. This makes a teriyaki glaze. For a quick and easy supper mix together in a small saucepan, 4 tablespoons of honey, 4 teaspoons of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar. Cut 175g salmon into 1 ½ cm cubes and marinate for 10 minutes in the sauce with some freshly grated ginger.

Preheat the grill to high, thread the salmon onto soaked skewers and put onto a foil lined baking sheet. Spoon over some sauce and grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over, baste with more sauce and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of water to the sauce in the saucepan. Bring to the simmer and bubble for 30 seconds, until slightly thickened. Serve skewers with the extra sauce spooned over and some fluffy rice.

Annabel Karmel is has written 16 books on feeding babies, children and families. Visit


55g/2oz butter at room temperature
55g/2oz soft light brown sugar
85g/3oz clear honey
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp apple purée
85g/3oz self raising flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp salt
200g/7 oz yellow marzipan
Tube of Black Writing Icing
12 flaked almonds

● Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°F/Gas 4/Fan 160°.
● Line a muffin tin with 6 paper cases.
● Beat together the butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. In another bowl, beat together the egg, vanilla and apple purée then beat this into the butter mixture.
● Sift over the flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt and fold in.
● Divide the batter between the paper cases and bake for 18-22 minutes, until risen, golden and firm to the touch. ● Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
● You can decorate the cakes with bees and flowers . To make the bees, shape the heads and bodies from the marzipan and gently squash together so that they stick.
● Cut out flower shapes using mini cookie cutters. Draw on the bees face and stripes using black Writing Icing and push flaked almonds into the sides for wings. Press some sprinkles into the flowers.

Last updated: 3:05pm, October 6 2008