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Simnel Cake

Makes 1 cake

Simnel cakes are traditionally made to eat at Easter. A distinctive characteristic of this spicy fruit cake is the marzipan layer baked into the middle of the cake. The 11 marzipan balls that decorate the top are said to represent the true disciples of Jesus.

Free from Soya
Vegetarian

Ingredients

Change Quantities:
  • CAKE
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 2 lemons, squeezed
  • 200g Doves Farm Organic Self Raising White Flour
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150g butter
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g currants
  • 100g mixed glacé peel
  • icing sugar
  • TOPPING
  • 2 tsp apricot jam, warmed

Cake

  1. Line the base and sides of a 20cm/8" round deep, loose bottom cake tin with parchment.
  2. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, add the almonds and stir to combine.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl and stir until it starts to clump together. Using your hands, gather everything together and knead it into a soft ball of marzipan paste.
  4. Dust the work surface with a little icing sugar, take one-third of the paste and roll into a circle just larger than the cake tin. Or roll the paste between two sheets of parchment. Place the tin on top of the paste circle and cut around the outside to make a perfect circle of marzipan. Cover and set aside all the marzipan paste.
  5. Pre-heat the oven.
  6. Sieve the flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon into a bowl and stir to combine.
  7. Put the butter and sugar into another bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.
  8. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  9. Add the prepared flour and stir to combine.
  10. Stir in the currants and glacé peel.
  11. Tip half the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
  12. Take the prepared marzipan paste circle and place it on the cake mixture.
  13. Put the remaining cake mixture onto the paste and smooth the surface.
  14. Bake for 1½-1¾ hours with another piece of parchment loosely over the top of the tin to prevent the over-browning. When a cocktail stick pressed into the centre of the cake comes out clean, it is cooked.
  15. Allow to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Topping

  1. Take one-third of the reserved marzipan paste, divide it into 11 pieces and roll each into a small ball.
  2. Roll the remaining marzipan into a circle just larger than the cake tin. Place the tin on top and cut around the outside to make a perfect circle of marzipan.
  3. Brush the top of the cold cake with half of the warm apricot jam.
  4. Place the marzipan circle on top.
  5. Brush the base of each marzipan ball with a dab of jam and place them in a circle on top of the cake.
  6. Place the cake under a hot grill for a few minutes to lightly brown the marzipan. Or use a blow torch.
  7. Store the cake in a tin.

Equipment

20cm/8" round deep, loose bottom cake tin, rolling pin, mixing bowl and parchment paper

Temperature

170°C, Fan 150°C, 325°F, Gas 3

Cooking time

1½-1¾ hours
Made this with Doves Farm Gluten Free self raising flour, a direct 1:1 replacement, + a couple of teaspoons of xanthan gum. Everyone loved it. I was slightly worried, because the mixture was extremely stiff, but it worked out fine.
By Terry lait
21 Apr 2019
Excellent bake, really pleased!
By Mrs Alison Quirk
27 Apr 2017

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Find a recipe

Ingredients

Change Quantities:
  • CAKE
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 2 lemons, squeezed
  • 200g Doves Farm Organic Self Raising White Flour
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150g butter
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g currants
  • 100g mixed glacé peel
  • icing sugar
  • TOPPING
  • 2 tsp apricot jam, warmed

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