A traditional Easter bake and perfect for your centrepiece, a Simnel Cake is a rich, superbly moist fruit cake, topped with a layer of marzipan and eleven grilled marzipan balls for an absolutely delicious caramelised flavour. Our Simnel Cake recipe has plenty of fruit for a wonderfully rich and indulgent flavour but also has a delicious layer of marzipan in the middle of the cake to make it extra special. As this is a fruit cake, it lasts much longer than sponge cake, so you can make the cake in advance and keep it in an airtight container for up to a month before decorating. It can also be made to be dairy-free if you need.
This recipe uses Mellow Yellow Rapeseed Oil which is low in saturated fat and high in Omega 3, making this recipe ideal for a healthy and balanced diet. Simply click here to find your nearest stockist.
250g self-raising flour
250g golden caster sugar
50g ground almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp mixed spice
5 medium eggs
45ml milk (for dairy free use any soya, almond, rice milk etc.)
180ml Mellow Yellow Rapeseed Oil
1kg mixed fruit (containing sultanas, currants, raisins, mixed peel)
50g apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 140°C. Grease and line a 20cm round tin.
In a large mixing bowl, add your flour, sugar, ground almonds, cinnamon, mixed spice, eggs, milk and Mellow Yellow Rapeseed Oil. Mix together until completely combined. Add your mixed fruit and stir in well.
Pour half the mixture into the tin. Then, roll out 300g of the marzipan to fit the tin (approx. 19cm diameter). Place this on top of the cake mixture. Pour the remaining mixture into the tin on top of the marzipan and spread out evenly. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes and then cover with greaseproof paper.
Bake for between 2 hours 45 minutes and 3 hours 15 minutes in the pre-heated oven, or until cooked through (it will be firm to the touch and a skewer will come out clean).
Cool completely in the tin on a wire rack and tip out when cooled. Gently heat the jam and brush over the top of the cake. Take approx. 250g of the marzipan and roll out into a circle to fit the top of the cake. With the remaining marzipan, create 11 balls and place around the top.
Finally, place under a grill until the marzipan is just browning or, for best results, carefully use a blowtorch to brown the desired areas.