Finnish Runeberg's Cupcakes

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“Posted for ZWT6 Scandinavian Region - Finland. Found on-line for authentic and historical Finnish recipes. These cakes were named after Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804 - 1877), the national poet of Finland, who is said to have had a special liking in them. His birthday is celebrated on the 5th of February, around which time the cakes are sold in many bakeries or made at home. Although the recipe may seem long and complicated, it isn't — the cakes are very quick and easy to make.”
1hr 30mins
8 cupcakes

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Muffin Batter
  • 1 egg
  • 25 ml sugar (1.6 tbs US)
  • 50 ml soft brown sugar, firmly packed (3.3 tbs US)
  • 100 g butter (7 tbls US)
  • 50 ml whipping cream (1/5 cup US)
  • 200 ml flour (4/5 cup US)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50 g ground almonds (3/5 cup US, or use 50 ml ground or finely chopped walnuts or ground dark sugar cookies)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 12 teaspoon almond extract
  • Sugar Syrup
  • 100 ml granulated sugar (2/5 cup US)
  • 50 ml water (1/5 cup US)
  • 1 tablespoon rum (or you can use rum extract)
  • Raspberry Topping
  • 100 ml raspberries (1/2 cup US, fresh or frozen is fine)
  • 50 ml sugar (3.3 tbs US)
  • Sugar Icing
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar (US equals confectioner's sugar)
  • 1 dash water (as needed)
  • 1 dash almond extract


  1. Melt the butter and let it cool slightly. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Beat the egg and sugars until fluffy, add almond extract (and liqueur if using), melted butter and whipped cream.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients. (If you do not have walnuts, hazelnuts or sugar cookies at hand, you can omit them or replace them with ground or chopped almonds.) Gently fold the dry ingredients into the batter.
  3. Lightly butter eight small (90 ml) cylindrical molds / (3 fl oz) muffin cups and spoon the batter into them. Place the molds on a baking sheet and bake the cakes at 180°C (350°F) for 15-20 minutes or when a cake tester/toothpick inserted in the middle of them comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the sugar syrup and raspberry topping. Place the sugar, water and the alcohol of your choice into a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil, so that the sugar melts and alcohol evaporates. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Place the raspberries and sugar into another small pan, bring to the boil and cook gently until the sugar has melted and the berries are broken (about 15 minutes). Stir every now and then. Set aside to cool. The topping should be rather thick, let it boil for a little longer if it is too thin.
  6. Take the hot cakes out of the oven, prick them with a toothpick, and drizzle the warm sugar syrup on top of them. Use all of the syrup. Let the cakes absorb the syrup for half an hour or longer. When the cakes seem thoroughly moist, gently remove them from the molds and flip them over.
  7. If the bottoms of the cakes are uneven, cut them flat carefully, using a serrated knife, so that the cakes will stand straight. This is most easily done while the cakes are still inside the molds. Cut by moving the knife along the rim of the mold.
  8. Cut a small round hole on the top of cakes using a small teaspoon. Fill the holes with raspberry topping and let it set in refrigerator.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare a very thick sugar icing by mixing a dash of water with icing sugar. Flavor the icing with a dash of almond essence. Pipe the icing around the raspberry topping on top of cakes. Let the sugar icing set and serve the cakes with coffee or tea.

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