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simnel cake (2)

Chocolate simnel cake

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2.052 stars based on 19 ratings

A chocolate variation of the traditional Easter treat, Simnel cake. The balls used to decorate a simnel cake represent the 11 true disciples (excluding Judas).

Key Information

  • Prep:
  • Bake:
  • Serves:10
  • Skill level:medium

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For the cake

Change Units

The Method Enter Bake mode

  1. Classic mode Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan, 325°F, gas mark 3). Grease and line a deep 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.

  2. Classic mode Step 2

    Lightly dust a work surface with some icing sugar. Roll the marzipan to the thickness of a £1 coin and cut into a round the same size as the tin. Leave to the side while making the cake.

    Ingredients for this step

  3. Classic mode Step 3

    Beat together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl or using an electric mixer until very pale and creamy. This could take about 5- 7 minutes.

    Ingredients for this step

  4. Classic mode Step 4

    Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little flour if the mixture curdles.

    Ingredients for this step

    • 4 4 Egg(s) (free range)
  5. Classic mode Step 5

    Fold in the remaining flour, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, cherries, mixed fruits and nuts. Stir until well mixed but do not overwork .

    Ingredients for this step

  6. Classic mode Step 6

    Spoon half the cake tin into the lined cake tin. Top with rolled marzipan tucking the marzipan into the sides. Top with remaining cake mixture.

  7. Classic mode Step 7

    Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (130°C fan, 300°F, gas mark 2) and bake for a further 1 1/2 hours, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the cake is getting to dark cover the surface with brown paper.

  8. Classic mode Step 8

    Cool in the tin for 1 hour then turn out and allow to cool completely.

  9. Classic mode Step 9

    Take another 125g marzipan and roll to the thickness of a £1 coin and cut into a round the same size as the tin. Brush the surface of the cake with warmed apricot jam.  Place the marzipan round on the surface and smooth lightly.

    Ingredients for this step

    • 125g 4½ oz Marzipan
    • 3tsp 3tsp Apricot jam
  10. Classic mode Step 10

    Take 150g of the marzipan and divide 3 and roll into long thin ropes about 40cm long. Plait the three together and wrap around the top of the cake.  Take the remaining marzipan and roll into 11 balls.  Place in the middle of the cake.  Wrap a ribbon round the cake and serve.

    Ingredients for this step

    • 250g 8⅞ oz Marzipan
  11. Classic mode Step 11

    This can be stored for two weeks if wrapped in greaseproof paper and kept in an airtight container.