Easter Simnel cake

Monthly Recipe / Simnel cake

Simnel cake

This delicious fruit cake is a tradition Ester cake packed with dried fruits and candied peel, topped with marzipan disciple.

Ingredients (makes one cake, in a 20cm square baking tin)

For the cake:

  • 240g raisins
  • 350g sultanas
  • 200g dried sour cherries
  • 100g prunes pitted and chopped
  • 110g candied peel diced
  • 50ml brandy
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Zest of one orange
  • 110g blanched almonds chopped
  • 170g muscovado sugar
  • 228g plain flour
  • ½tsp salt
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½tsp grated nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 170g butter, melted

For the marzipan:

  • 290g ground almonds
  • 180g icing sugar
  • 106g muscovado sugar
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • 1 egg
  • 2tsp Cognac
  • 2tsp almond extract
  • 1tsp salt


The day before, mix together the sultanas, raisins, prunes and cherries and brandy. Allow to soak overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 130C on a low fan.

Place the fruit into a large mixing bowl, add the chopped almonds, zest of lemon and orange and muscovado sugar.

Next, evenly sift the dried ingredients into another large mixing bowl. Add the butter and eggs and mix until it’s all combined. Add this batter to the fruit and mix until everything is well incorporated.

Butter and line your tin, then fill them with the cake mix and firmly press into the tin.

Bake for 1-2 hours, until the cake is firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. It may take longer depending on the oven, so use common sense when checking to see if it’s done. If the cake begins to darken too quickly, loosely cover with tin foil.

This cake can be made in advance and stored in airtight container.

To make the marzipan, combine ground almonds, icing sugar, muscovado sugar and cornflour into a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

In another bowl, combine the egg, Cognac, extract and salt. Stir to dissolve the salt, then add to the almond mixture. Beat until well combined. Remove from the bowl and gently knead into a ball.

Roll out the marzipan into to a square to fit top of the cake. Brush the cake with marmalade or apricot jam and top with marzipan squares, then add your marzipan balls.