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Simnel Cake ( serves 6/8)


Marzipan Covering


Cake batter

What to do?

Marzipan Covering

  1. Pre heat the oven to 140C.
  2. Place the sugar and ground almonds in a bowl with 2 beaten eggs and mix.
  3. Add the almond essence and knead for a minute. The paste should become smooth and soft
  4. Divide the marzipan into 3 equal portions.

Simnel cake

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until it becomes pale and fluffy.
  2. Slowly beat in the eggs until it mixes in well and then sift in the flour, salt and the spices.
  3. TIP: Dust the dried fruit, peel and grated lemon rind in plain flour. Shake off the excess flour in a sieve. This will ensure the fruit doesn’t sink to the bottom of the cake mix during cooking.
  4. Stir the dried fruit, peel and rind and essence into the mixture.
  5. Cut or break up one third of the marzipan into small chunks and fold into the cake mix
  6. Grease and line an 18cm cake tin. Spoon out the Simnel cake mixture and smooth over the top.
  7. Leave a small dip in the centre of the cake mixture to allow the cake to rise evenly.
  8. Place in the pre heated oven for one hour and thirty minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and set aside on a cake rack to cool down.
  10. Brush the top of the cooled cake with apricot jam
  11. Roll out the second third of the marzipan and cover the top of the cake (18cm)
  12. With the final third of marzipan split it into 11 equal pieces and roll into balls.
  13. Place the 11 marzipan balls around the edge of the cake  and glaze with beaten egg.
  14. Put the cake under a hot grill and brown the top of the cake slightly.
  15. Leave to cool and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or cream.


The significance of the marzipan balls is to represent the 12 disciples.

1 ball is omitted because of Judas’s betrayal of Jesus in the bible.



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