Easter Simnel Cake

Easter Simnel Cake

Easter Simnel Cake is a delightful symbol of spring and a cherished Easter tradition for many. It’s a recipe steeped in history, with the marzipan balls representing the apostles and the rich, fruit-filled cake symbolising the end of Lent.


  • 250g mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins, candied mixed peel)
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 500g marzipan
  • 250g softened butter
  • 200g light brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs, plus 1 beaten for glazing
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g glacé cherries, halved
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam

Method of preparation:

Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2.

Place the dried fruit mixture in a bowl with the orange juice and zest. Cover and microwave for 2 minutes, then leave to cool completely.

Roll out a third of the marzipan and use the base of a 20cm deep cake tin as a template to cut out a circle. Put the circle and the rest of the marzipan aside for later.

Grease and line the cake tin with a double layer of baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder, lemon zest, mixed spices and vanilla extract and mix well.

Stir in the cooled, soaked dried fruit and fold in the cherries.

Scrape half the cake mixture into the tin, cover with the marzipan disc, then add the rest of the cake mixture and level the top.

Bake for about 2 hours. Test for doneness by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake; if it comes out clean, it’s done.

Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Coat the top of the cake with apricot jam. Roll out half of the remaining marzipan to fit the top of the cake and place on top.

Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 balls and place around the edge of the cake.

Brush the marzipan with beaten egg and place under a hot grill for a minute or two, until just beginning to caramelise.

Related Posts