Simnel Cake is a light fruit cake covered in marzipan, traditionally eaten at Easter. It's absolutely perfect with a cup of tea.
Keyword Simnel Cake
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 2hours
Total Time 2hours20minutes
Author Nickki Thompson
150gMarzipancut into 1cm cubes
400gmixed dried fruit
Zest and juice of one large lemon
Zest and juice of one large orange
225gsoft butter225g caster sugaror light brown sugar
225gself raising flour
For the topping:
Preheat the oven to 170C/150Fan/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a deep 20cm round cake tin.
Toss the marzipan cubes in 2 tablespoons of flour (taken from the measured amount) and set aside.Place the dried fruit in a medium saucepan. Add the orange and lemon zest and juice. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and let it cook for 2 minutes until the liquid has absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Combine the self raising flour, mixed spice and ground almonds in a large bowl. Set aside.Cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture looks like it's beginning to curdle, add in one tablespoon of the flour mixture.
Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing gently until there are no pockets of flour and the batter looks smooth. Tip in the cooled dried fruit and marzipan cubes, folding gently until well combined.
Spoon the cake mixture into the lined tin and bake for 1 1/2-2 hours or until the cake is well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake emerges clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for at least 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
When the cake is completely cold, roll 400g of the marzipan out to a round the same size as the cake. Brush the top of the cake with warmed apricot jam, top with the marzipan and crimp the edges.
Form the remaining marzipan into 11 balls to represent all the Apostles, minus Judus. Using some apricot jam, stick the marzipan balls around the edge of the cake. Place the cake under a pre-heated grill to lightly caramelise and brown the marzipan - whatever you do, don't walk away from it! It can go from perfectly toasted to burned in seconds. Leave to cool before transferring the cake to a serving plate.