Simnel Cake

Serves

12

prepare

45

cook

90

This is a tasty, light fruitcake with similar recipes dating right back to medieval times. There are a few theories to what the Simnel Cake celebrates, including the end of Lent and Mothering Sunday when service girls would take it home to their mothers but we now associate it with Easter and the eleven toasted marzipans balls on top representing the apostles (minus Judas).

Directions


Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170°C/325°F. Butter and line the bottom and sides of a 20cm / 8 inch cake tin with a layer of greaseproof paper.

  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light in colour and soft then add the lemon zest.

  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and ground almonds into a separate bowl.

  4. Beat in 1 of the eggs to the butter and sugar with 2 tablespoons of the dry flour-and-spice mixture, then beat in the other two eggs.

  5. Add in the rest of the flour-and-spice mixture and then the milk. Finally fold in the fruit.

  6. Spoon half of the fruit cake mixture into the cake tin and smooth it down.

  7. Dust a surface with a little icing sugar, then roll out about 400g of marzipan. Cut it into a 20cm / 8 inch circle and place on top of the cake mixture in the tin.

  8. Spoon the rest of the mixture into the tin on top of the marzipan and smooth the top again.

  9. Bake for half an hour, then turn the oven down to gas mark 2/150°C/300°F and bake for another 1½ hours or until you can put a metal skewer in the middle and it comes out clean. Let it cool completely on a rack before taking out of the tin.

  10. Take the cake out of the tin and remove the greaseproof paper. Roll out another 400g / 14oz of marzipan and cut into a circle the same size as before, paint the top of the cake with the melted apricot jam, and then stick the marzipan on.

  11. Make 11 balls (small or medium depending on how you’d like it to look) out of the remaining marzipan. Beat the egg white – just till it’s a bit frothy and loosened up a little, no more – and use that as glue to stick the balls around the edge of the cake.

  12. Heat your grill to a medium-high heat and put the cake under grill for a couple of minutes until the marzipan starts to brown – don’t walk away as you’ll need to watch it so it doesn’t burn.

Food tags


Seasonal Desserts

Ingredients check-list


  • 1 tbsp Independent Apricot Jam
  • 1 tsp Independent Baking Powder
  • 1 Independent Egg White
  • 3 Independent Large Eggs
  • 1 Independent Lemon (zest only)
  • 2 tbsp Independent Milk
  • 225g Independent Plain Flour
  • 500g Independent Mixed Dried Fruit
  • 175g Independent Unsalted Butter
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  • 175g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Glace Cherries (finely chopped)
  • 25g Ground Almonds
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 1kg Yellow Marzipan

Food tags


Seasonal Desserts