Make & do: Simnel cake

simnel cake

simnel cakeThis is a light fruit cake, similar to a Christmas cake eaten around Easter time. It used to be made for Mother’s day by servant girls to take home to their families.  This recipe serves ten.


200g sugar
200g butter
250g self-raising flour
4 eggs
Zest of one orange
1tbsp mixed spice
250g sultanas
150g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
50g chopped ginger
3tbsp jam
400g marzipan

  • Preheat oven to 160 C. You will need to grease a 23cm round cake tin.
  • Mix caster sugar, butter, flour, eggs, zest and spice until it’s a smooth consistency
  • Add fruit and stir.
  • Spoon half the cake mixture into the base of the tin. Roll out one third (150g) of the marzipan into a 23cm circle and place on top of the mixture. Spoon remaining mix on top ,
  • Bake in the oven for 1hr 45min or until golden brown and firm.
  • Remove from tin and let cool.
  • Roll out another third (150g) of marzipan into a 23cm circle.
  • Once the cake is cold, melt the jam in a small pan, then brush the top of the cake with it. Place the marzipan circle on top. Divide the remaining marzipan into 11 pieces and shape into balls (to represent the 11 loyal disciples) Position around edge of the cake. Decorate with chocolate eggs, chicks or whatever you please.