Thursday, 29 March 2012

Easter Simnel Cake

This rich fruit cake, with marzipan filling and decoration is traditionally eaten at Easter or during lent. The golden marzipan balls on the top signify Christ's 11 loyal apostles.The name of this cake comes from the Roman Siminellus, which was a bread eaten during spring fertility festivals, but more commonly it is believed that this cake was made on mothering Sunday by servants girls to take home to their mothers. Either way this is a beautiful moist cake that was devoured by all in this house. Now feel free to use your own faithful fruit cake recipe, add the marzipan and bake as normal or if your want a larger cake then use Delia's Rich Fruit Cake and increase the marzipan to 1kg, this will serve 12-14 people.

I've entered this Easter Extravaganza recipe into Calender Cakes which is hosted by Laura Loves Cakes this month. Well worth checking out all those other eggcellent (sorry!!) recipes :)

Serves 10

150g Butter
150g Caster sugar
1 Lemon
2 Eggs
200g Plain flour
¼ tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Mixed spice
500g Dried fruit
2tbsp Milk

500g - 700g  Marzipan
Egg white to glaze

Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas Mark 3. Grease an 18cm/7in deep cake tin. Line with double greaseproof paper or reusable parchment paper. Dice the butter. Put into a bowl with sugar.

Beat with an electric whisk, stand mixer or wooden spoon until pale and fluffy.

Grate the rind of the lemon and add to the mix. beat eggs in. Sift in the flour, baking powder and mixed spice. Stir in the dried fruit and milk.

Spoon half of the mixture into tin and level.

Dust a work surface with cornflour and roll out one third of the marzipan to a 15cm/6in round. lay marzipan over the cake. ( I made my circle too large and the marzipan burnt around the edges, keep the radius less than your cake or the marzipan will burn, lesson learnt!!)

Spoon the remaining mixture and hollow centre.

Wrap in double layer of brown paper (another great use for my local paper! ) and secure with cord.

Bake for 1 hour, lower the temperature to 150ºC/300ºF/ Gas Mark 2. Bake for another 1¼ hours, until a skewer inserted halfway comes out clean. Put on a rack, remove paper and cool.

Meanwhile dust work surface with cornflour. Roll out half the marzipan to an 18cm/7in round. Brush the cake with eggs white and press marzipan on top.

Crimp edges. Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 balls. Brush marzipan with eggs whites and press on balls. Brush balls with egg white.

Put cake under a hot grill until balls turn golden or fire up your blowtorch! Cool completely.


  1. Fab Simnel looks professional! Thanks for entering it into this month's Calendar Cakes :-)

    1. Thank you Laura, I have to say that I really look forward to making this every year, it's a real treat. Oh and I just love Calendar Cakes, can't you tell =)