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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.56 / 5 (75 votes)

Prep time:
45 min
Cook time:
20 min
Makes 12 cupcakes

If you've ever wondered what angels are made of, then here's the answer - almonds, orange zest and vanilla, or at least that's Celia Plender's cupcake angels ar made of
View more cupcake recipes


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar with the orange zest until light, fluffy and pale.

3. Gradually mix in the beaten egg alternating with the flour and ground almonds to stop the mix from curdling. Finally, stir through the vanilla extract.

4. Place 12 paper cupcake cases into a muffin tin and divide the mixture between them.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

6. For the angels: shape a third of the marzipan into 12 balls and press 2 silver balls into each for eyes. Shape the remaining marzipan into 24 wings.

7. Pull the centre sections of the orange jelly slices out, and then cut the semi circular central parts in half so that you have two triangles. These are the angels hands, the curved parts are the halos.

8. Mix the icing sugar with a drop of water to make a thick sticky paste and use this to attach the curved halos to the angels heads.

9. For the frosting: In a mixing bowl beat the butter with a spoon or spatular until smooth, then start to sift in the icing sugar, stirring regularly. Add the vanilla extract and orange juice. The frosting should be light and creamy.

10. Once the cupcakes are totally cool, pipe the icing onto them starting from the outside of the cake and working into the centre to create tall peaks. Place a head on the top of each, push the wings into the back and push the orange segment hands into place.

11. Sprinkle with a little edible glitter, if desired.

Cupcake recipes


  • 150 g butter, softened
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 orange, grated zest only
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 100 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 50 g ground almond powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the angels

  • 300 g marzipan
  • 24 silver balls
  • 12 jelly orange slice sweets
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

For the frosting:

  • 200 g butter, at room temperature
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

To decorate:

  • edible glitter, (optional)

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