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A special Easter treat, this year make a traditional Simnel Cake

How to make Easter Simnel Cake

Janice Pattie
Make this traditional light fruit cake with a layer of marzipan inside and another on top. It makes a perfect centrepiece for your Easter table.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 12 slices
Calories 521 kcal


  • 175 grams soft butter
  • 175 grams soft brown sugar
  • 175 grams self-raising flour
  • 300 grams mixed dried fruit
  • 3 eggs
  • 90 grams glace cherries quartered, rinsed and dried
  • 1 lemon grated zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 500 grams marzipan
  • 2 teaspoons apricot jam
  • 1 egg white


  • Preheat the oven to 150C.
  • Grease and line an 18 cm round cake tin with baking parchment. 
  • Roll out 1/3 of the marzipan and using the cake tin as a guide, cut out an 18 cm circle.  Set aside.
  • Place the butter, sugar flour, dried fruit, cherries, lemon zest,  3 eggs and the mixed spice in a large bowl and beat until fully combined.  You can do this by hand but a stand mixer makes the job really easy. 
  • Spoon half the mixture into the lined cake tin, top with the round of marzipan.
  • Cover with the remaining cake mixture and level the surface.
  • Bake for 2 hours 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Check that it is baked by pushing a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out sticky it's not baked, if it's clean then the cake is ready. 
  • If the cake seems to be browning too quickly, cover it with some baking parchment.
  • When the cake is completely cool, warm the apricot jam and use it to brush the top of the cake.
  • Roll out half the remaining marzipan to an 18 cm round and put it on top of the jam, crimping the edges into an attractive pattern.  Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 balls, brush the base of each with egg white and place evenly around the edge of the cake. 
  • Using the remaining egg white, brush the marzipan and the marzipan balls.  Then place under a hot grill until the balls are golden brown and slightly bubbling. 


The eleven marzipan balls on the Simnel Cake represent the 11 disciples of Jesus Christ excluding Judas.  


Calories: 521kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 9gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 141mgPotassium: 332mgFiber: 4gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 429IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 2mg