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Happi - Nest Rotunda Easter Buns

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 30 minutes

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My recipe makes 12 but as you will see in the photo 4 had to be sampled!

Following a visit to Ickworth House I saw a recipe on the National Trust website for Simnel scones and with Easter upon us it caught my attention and sparked my imagination. So, combining my love of hot cross buns, marzipan, cupcakes and chocolate, I devised my own recipe called Happi – Nests Rotundas. With a soft, fruit packed sponge, sweet marzipan and chocolate decoration, these zesty buns take all the flavour elements of Easter and represent the magnificent focal point of Ickworth.

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What I am putting in!

  • 175g Unsalted butter
  • 175g Caster sugar
  • 175g Self - raising flour
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 160g Mixed fruit
  • 1 Teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 150g Grated yellow marzipan

For making them look pretty

  • 250g Unsalted butter
  • 500g Icing sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • Shredded wheat crushed
  • Orange chocolate mini eggs


  1. Just a little bit of preparation. I love putting the ingredients in separate bowls and pretending I am presenting a cookery programme. Any readers remember Why Don’t You? I loved that show…” And now time for the recipe!” With the dried fruit add a tablespoon of self-raising flour and coat well. This really does help the fruit to not sink to the bottom of the buns.

  2. The method (to my madness) Preheat the oven to 170°C (conventional oven) 150°C (fan-assisted oven) Add the butter and sugar into a bowl and whizz up until light and fluffy. I still use a rotary whisk as it takes me back to my childhood of making Angel Delight. My three favourite things in the kitchen when I was young were our hand whisk, rotary orange cheese grater and our soda stream. You know you feel your age when you can buy these things again and they are referred to as being retro! If, like me, you are using a manual whisk just think how many calories you are burning, which will make you feel less guilty having more than one bun!

  3. I digress. I prefer to crack the eggs into a cup or jug as opposed to adding them straight to the mixture as I have been known to leave some shell behind. I also like to whisk them. Add the eggs and the orange juice to the fluffy sugar and margarine and whisk again to make a yellow batter consistency. Add the flour and mix until it is smooth, about 5 minutes. Stop once in the middle of this and scrape the sides down using a spatula. Lastly, fold in gently with a metal spoon (this keeps the mixture light and airy) the mixed fruit, grated marzipan and the mixed spice.

  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes but keep an eye on them. They will be perfect when they bounce back to the touch and the top still looks slightly sticky. While they are cooling, time to make the buttercream. Add the margarine to a bowl and roughly half of the icing sugar and mix well. Then add the orange juice and zest and mix again. Add the remaining icing sugar and give the mixture a really good mix. Easy peasy orange squeezy. To decorate I pipe the buttercream on to each of the buns, sprinkle the crushed shredded wheat and cluster the chocolate eggs to finish and then devour.

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