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Simnel cake topped with marzipan decorations on a light green plate
35Total Time
35Prep Time
230Bake Time

Simnel Cake

6 Reviews

About our Easter Simnel cake recipe:

If you prefer a lighter fruit cake, this Simnel cake could be your perfect match. Combining an irresistible mix of fruit and spices, it contains dried apricots and is topped with a layer of marzipan. Simply delicious.

What's the story behind Simnel cake? 

Simnel cake is a traditional Easter bake which has been made since the medieval ages. The marzipan ball decorations around the edge are a symbol of Jesus and his disciples, and this bake is often enjoyed on Easter Sunday.

35Total Time
35Prep Time
230Bake Time


  1. Step 1:

    Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan 140°c, gas mark 3). Grease and line a 20cm/8in round, deep cake tin.

  2. Step 2:

    Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon until light and creamy.

  3. Step 3:

    Gradually beat the eggs into the butter and sugar, adding a little flour if the mixture starts to curdle.

  4. Step 4:

    Add the remaining cake ingredients and stir well until evenly mixed. Place in the cake tin and smooth the surface.

  5. Step 5:

    Bake for 1 hour then reduce the oven temperature to 150°c (fan 130°c, gas mark 2) for a further 75 to 90 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then gently turn out of the cake tin and leave to cool completely.

  6. Step 6:

    Spread the top of the cake with apricot jam, and set aside 150g/6oz of marzipan.

    Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the remaining marzipan to a circle large enough to cover the cake. Place on top of the cake and smooth down well.

    Roll mini balls with the remaining marzipan and place on top of the cake in a pattern, then dust the cake with icing sugar.


  • For the fruit cake

    • 175g Butter (unsalted)
    • 175g Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    • 3 Egg(s) (free range) (medium)
    • 250g Plain wholemeal flour
    • 1 tsp Baking powder
    • 2 tsp Cinnamon
    • 250g Sultanas
    • 125g Marzipan (cut into 2cm cubes)
    • 125g Dried apricots (chopped)
    • 125g Glacé cherries
    • 125g Walnuts (roughly chopped)
    • 2 Orange(s) (rind and juice)
  • To decorate

    • 2 tbsp Apricot jam (warmed, sieved)
    • 500g Marzipan
    •  Icing sugar (to dust)

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