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Simnel Cake

  • Makes 1 20cm cake
Simnel Cake


  • 150 grams butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • grated rind one lemon
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 400 grams mixed dried fruit
  • 50 grams mixed peel
  • 300 grams marzipan

To Decorate

  • 2-3 tblsp apricot jam, warmed
  • 1 egg white


  1. Beat the butter, brown sugar and grated lemon rind together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. Sift together the flour and mixed spice and fold into the creamed mixture with the dried fruits.
  3. Spoon half the mixture into a well-greased and paper lined 20cm cake tin. Roll out 1/3rd of the marzipan on a lightly flour and icing sugar dusted bench to a 20cm circle. Place on top of the cake mixture in the tin. Cover the marzipan with the remaining cake mixture.
  4. Bake at 140ºC for 1½ hours or until the cake is cooked. It should be golden brown, firm to the touch and have shrunken from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven, cover and allow to cool completely on a cake rack.
  5. Divide the remaining marzipan in half. Divide on half into 11 pieces and roll these into small even-sized balls. Set aside. With the remaining marzipan, roll out again as in point 3, to a 20cm round. Trim the edge so it is even. Brush the cold cake with a little apricot jam and place the circle of marzipan on top. Press the 11 balls evenly around the edge of the cake and brush the whole top with a little beaten egg white.
  6. Return the cake to a 180ºC oven for about 10-12minutes or until the marzipan just begins to brown. Cool. Keep in an airtight container. The cake will improve if made one week before covering with marzipan. Keeps well for 2-3 weeks.

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