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  • Sarah L Samuels

Easter Simnel Cake

Updated: Mar 5

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 add some ribbon around the middle if you want to.


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.


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)

Grease and line the inside of a 6" round baking tin on the base and side. You do not need to put any paper on the outside of the tin.



Take 1/3 of the marzipan.



Roll it out into a rough circle just bigger than the base of the 6" tin.



Using the tin as a template cut out the circle 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 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 circle on top.



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



Bake for 4 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 turn upside down so you have a nice flat surface. Then brush the cake with warmed apricot jam.



Make 11 small ball shapes and roll out a 6" circle with the remaining marzipan using the cake tin as a template.



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



Decorate with the marzipan balls - 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 Cake


Sarah's servings: 11

Sarah's skill: Easy

Baking time: 4 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

150g Plain flour

2tsp Ground Mixed Spice

3 Large eggs

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)

  3. Grease and line the inside of a 6" round baking tin on the base and side. You do not need to put any paper on the outside of the tin.

  4. Roll 1/3 of the marzipan into a circle the same size as the tin, set aside for later.

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

  6. Add the eggs gradually alternating with the flour to the mixture doesn’t curdle.

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

  8. Put half the mixture into the lined tin and add the marzipan circle.

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

  10. Bake for 4 hours or until a skewer comes out clean.

  11. Leave to cool in the tin.

  12. Put the cake on a plate or cake stand and turn upside down so you have a nice flat surface. Then brush the cake with warmed apricot jam.

  13. Make 11 small ball shapes and roll out a 6" circle with the remaining marzipan using the cake tin as a template.

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

  15. Decorate with the marzipan balls - use the jam to stick them to the top.

  16. 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.


My tin is a 6” PME deep cake tin like this one available on Amazon


Equipment I used







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