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  • Sarah L Samuels

Easter Simnel Loaf Cake

Updated: Mar 23


I was asked a lot last Easter if I had a Simnel loaf cake so I wanted to make sure I made one for this year!


Simnel cake is a fruit cake usually eaten at Easter here in the UK. It typically has a layer of marzipan in the middle of the cake and on the top. Traditionally it is decorated with 11 marzipan balls on the top to represent Jesus's 11 disciples.


You can decorate the top of the cake as you like, it doesn't have to be traditional. You can add any decorations you like and be creative!



I have lots of nice Easter cutters for animals and flowers that I have used in the past to decorate my Easter cakes for my cafe.


I was very proud to have this recipe featured in Cumbria Life Magazine in April 2024.



This cake will keep for about a month, so you can make it and keep it in an airtight tin in a cool dry place.


I have added dried apricots and dried cranberries into my cake but you could just use a traditional dried fruit mix.





Start by weighing the fruit and cherries into a large bowl, add the orange juice and zest then mix together.



Cover with cling film. Leave for 2-3 hours or overnight to soak.



When ready to bake the cake Preheat the oven to 140 degrees centigrade (120 fan) then grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.



Take 1/3 of the block of marzipan.



Roll 1/3 of the marzipan into an oblong roughly the same size as the base of the tin



Using the tin as a template cut out the oblong of marzipan.



Set aside for later.


In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.



Add the eggs gradually alternating with the flour and mixed spice to the mixture doesn’t curdle.



Finally add the soaked fruit and mix until it is all combined.




Put half the mixture into the lined tin.



Then place the marzipan oblong on top.



Put the rest of the mixture on the top and level with a small spatula or the back of a spoon.



Bake for 3 hours or until a skewer comes out clean, then leave to cool in the tin.



Put the cake on a plate or cake stand and then brush the cake with warmed apricot jam and roll out an oblong with the remaining marzipan using the loaf tin as a template.


Place the marzipan on top of the jam on the cake.




Using the offcuts of marzipan make balls or Easter shapes - use the jam to stick them to the top.




Scorch the marzipan with a cooks blow torch if you have one - not essential.




Easter Simnel Loaf Cake


Sarah's servings: 10

Sarah's skill: Easy

Baking time: 3 hours


Ingredients:


500g Mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, mixed peel, apricots & cranberries)

75g Glacé cherries (quartered)

1 Orange (zest & juice)

150g Soft unsalted Butter

150g Light brown sugar

3 Large eggs

150g Plain flour

2tsp Ground Mixed Spice

454g Marzipan block

2 Tbsp Apricot Jam


Method:

  1. Weigh the fruit and cherries into a large bowl and add the orange juice and zest and cover with cling film. Leave for 2-3 hours or overnight to soak.

  2. When ready to bake the cake Preheat the oven to 140 degrees centigrade (120 fan) then grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.

  3. Roll 1/3 of the marzipan into an oblong the same size as the base of the tin, set aside for later.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  5. Add the eggs gradually alternating with the flour and mixed spice to the mixture doesn’t curdle.

  6. Finally add the soaked fruit and mix until it is all combined.

  7. Put half the mixture into the lined loaf tin and add the marzipan oblong.

  8. Put the rest of the mixture on the top and level.

  9. Bake for 3 hours or until a skewer comes out clean.

  10. Leave to cool in the tin.

  11. Put the cake on a plate or cake stand and brush the cake with warmed apricot jam.

  12. Roll out an oblong shape with the remaining marzipan using the loaf tin as a template.

  13. Place the marzipan on top of the jam on the cake.

  14. Using the offcuts of marzipan make balls or Easter shapes - use the jam to stick them to the top.

  15. Scorch the marzipan with a cooks blow torch if you have one but it's not essential.


Storage: Simnel cake will keep for up to 1 month when decorated if stored in an airtight container in a cool place.







Sarah’s extra slice…….


Simnel cake will keep for up to 1 month when decorated if stored in an airtight container in a cool place.


Equipment I used







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