If you have never tried Simnel cake, you are in for a real treat. It is much easier to make than it looks in fact it is simply delicious. Simnel Cake is a light fruit cake covered in marzipan eaten during Easter. There is a layer of marzipan baked into the middle of the cake as well as on the top of the cake, and around the edge, are eleven marzipan balls to represent the true disciples of Jesus; Judas is omitted. Lovely as the centrepiece of a special Easter tea.
Traditional Simnel Cake
You will need
For the cake
- 175g/6oz light muscavado sugar
- 175g/6oz butter, softened
- 175g/6oz self raising flour
- 3 large eggs
- 25g/1oz ground almonds
- 2 tbsp milk
- 100g/4oz sultanas
- 100g/4oz cherries, quartered, washed, and dried
- 100g/4oz dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
- 100g/4oz stem ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp ground ginger
For the topping
- 450g/1lb golden marzipan
- 3 tbsp apricot jam
- 1 egg, beaten
How to make it
- Preheat your oven to 160C/Gas Mark 3.
- Grease and line the base and sides of an 20cm/8in deep, round cake tin with baking paper.
- Measure all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat them together well until thoroughly blended. Place half of this mixture into the prepared tin and level..
- Take a third of the marzipan and roll into a circle the same size as the cake tin, place the circle on top of the cake mixture. Spoon the remaining mixture on top of the marzipan and level..
- Bake for about 1hr 45 min to 2 hours or until golden brown and firm in the middle. If the cake is getting too brown towards the end of the cooking time, loosely cover with a piece of foil. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning onto a cooling rack.
- When the cake is cool. Brush the top with warmed apricot jam. Roll out half the remaining marzipan to the size of the cake and sit it on the top. Crimp the edges of the marzipan make 11 even sized balls from the remaining marzipan and arrange around the edge.
- Brush beaten egg and glaze under a hot grill for 5 minutes, turning the cake round so it browns evenly, and is tinged brown all over.