Simnel cake is a traditional Easter bake and in this recipe we show you how to make Simnel cake in a really easy and convenient way. Follow our step-by-step guide to learn how to make Simnel cake this easter. Simnel cakes are a classic during bake, so if you’re tempted to make one this year, our handy step-by-step guide should help you produce perfect results.
Simnel cakes are traditionally made for the family to share on Easter Sunday, They are topped with 11 marzipan balls that represent the twelve apostles, minus Judas – who betrayed Jesus.
Marzipan isn’t just used to top the cake, the traditional fruit cake is given a burst of flavour by the hidden marzipan centre and the slightly toasted marzipan topping.
Our classic Simnel cake is made in a round cake tin but you can make yours in a square one, loaf tin or even make it into bite-sized cupcakes – the choice is yours.
For this Easter recipe you will need:
- 250g butter, softened
- 250g light soft brown sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 250g self-raising flour
- 2 level tsp mixed spice
- 250g sultanas
- 125g currants
- 175g glacé cherries
- 125g ready-to-eat dried figs, chopped
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Grated zest of 2 oranges
- 2 x 500g packs white marzipan
- 2tbsp ground almonds
- 11 flaked almonds
Use either metric or imperial measures – do not switch from one to the other. Calorie and fat contents given are approximate values and assume you are making the maximum number of servings stated.Recipe and props stylist: Judy Williams. Photo: Chris Alack
To make this Simnel cake, start by setting the oven to cool, Gas Mark 2 or 150°C.
Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat together. Add the eggs, flour and mixed spice alternately and mix well. Add all the fruit and citrus zest and mix again.
Roll out some of the marzipan so that it fits roughly into your cake tin. Put a third of the cake mixture into the tin and spread evenly over the base. Lay your marzipan piece over this mixture.
Put half of the remaining cake mixture into the tin and lay another marzipan piece on top. Top with the rest of the mixture and level the top. Cook in the centre of the oven for 3-3¼ hrs, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then remove cake from tin and level the top. Turn the cake over.
Cut a third off the second block of marzipan and reserve. Roll out the larger piece and lay your cake tin on top of it, cutting the marzipan to fit the size of the cake. Lay the marzipan on top of the cake, and put under the grill to brown slightly.
Use the reserved marzipan and trimmings to make 11 neat cubes and 11 balls. Roll the balls in the ground almonds.
Arrange the balls in a circle on top of the cake, using a little water to hold in place. And there you have it, the perfect Easter simnel cake.