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Simnel Cake recipe

Simnel Cake recipe

22 January, 2019
Average: 1.7 (23 votes)

Type of dish

Season & Occasion

serves for


total time

4 HR 10 MIN


For the cake
250 gr
All purpose flour
225 gr
Baking powder
1 teaspoon
1 1/2 teaspoon
180 gr, softened
Caster sugar
180 gr
3, large
175 gr
225 gr
50 gr, chopped
Candied lemon zest
50 gr, chopped
50 gr
3 tablespoons
1, finely zested
1, finely zested
To decorate
600 gr
Icing sugar
Apricot jam
4 tablespoons, warmed


Step 01

For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C (130° fan) | 300F | gas.
  • Grease and line an 18 cm | 7" round cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Cut the marzipan into 1 cm | 0.5" cubes.
  • Toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of flour.
  • Sift the remaining flour into a large mixing bowl along with the baking powder and mixed spice.
  • Add the butter, sugar, and eggs, beating thoroughly with an electric mixer until smooth, 3-4 minutes.
  • Gently fold in the currants, sultanas, cherries, candied peel, ground almonds, milk, and citrus zest.
  • Add the floured marzipan cubes and stir to incorporate thoroughly.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin.
  • Cut out two 18 cm | 7" wide rounds of greaseproof paper, stack them on top of each other, and cut out a small 2.5 cm | 1" circle in the centre.
  • Place the paper on top of the batter.
  • Bake the cake for about 2.5-3 hours until risen and dry to the touch on top; a cake tester should come out clean from the centre.
  • Remove the cake to a wire rack to cool. 9 Once cool, turn out from the tin.
  • Horizontally cut in half with a serrated knife.
  • Sit the bottom half on a cake stand.

Step 02

For decoration 

  • Divide the marzipan into three even pieces.
  • Roll out two pieces on a work surface dusted with icing sugar into 20 cm | 8" rounds that are about 1 cm | 0.5" thick.
  • Brush the top of the cake on the stand with some of the warmed apricot jam.
  • Drape one marzipan round on top, pressing down gently to adhere.
  • Cut away any overhanging marzipan with a serrated knife.
  • Brush the top of the marzipan with more apricot jam before positioning the other cake half on top, pressing down gently to adhere.
  • Brush the top of the cake with more apricot jam before draping the second marzipan round on top, smoothing it flat with your hand.
  • Scallop the edges of the marzipan between your fingers and thumbs.
  • Divide the remaining marzipan into 11 even pieces, rolling them into balls between your palms.
  • Attach the marzipan balls to the top of the cake with a little apricot jam or water.
  • Brown their tops with a chef's blowtorch; alternatively, you can brown them on a grilling tray under a hot grill.
  • If desired, tie yellow decorative ribbon around the middle of the cake.
  • Garnish with Easter flowers before serving.

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