Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

How to make simnel cake

Simnel Cake - Hero.jpg

You may not be familiar with simnel cake, but if you’ve never tried it we recommend you remedy this immediately. Similar to a Christmas cake and a little lighter than a fruit cake, simnel cake is a traditional Easter cake which is toasted and covered in marzipan. There’s also a delicious layer of almond paste in its center and is decorated with marzipan balls - or, in the case of our recipe from Divine Chocolate, miniature chocolate eggs.

The below recipe for simnel cake was created by Linda Collister for Divine Chocolate to accompany BBC2’s The Great British Bake-Off, and is made from a light fruit-cake mixture with Divine’s 70% chocolate, and is the perfect alternative to chocolate eggs this Easter, in our eyes...

Ingredients

Makes one large cake

  • 230g plain flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g soft light brown muscovado sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs, beaten to mix
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 350g mixed dried fruit
  • 100g glace cherries, rinsed, dried and halved
  • 100g bar Divine 70% Chocolate, roughly chopped (available at all supermarkets)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 450g white marzipan
  • A little apricot jam or sherry for brushing
  • Divine Speckled Eggs (available at Waitrose)
  • A ribbon

Method

1. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4, and grease and line a 20.5cm/8" round, deep cake tin or springform.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt on to a sheet of greaseproof paper and set aside until needed.

3. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; you can use a wooden spoon or an electric whisk or mixer. Then gradually add in the eggs, beating well after each addition and adding the ground almonds with the last egg.

4. Using a large metal spoon fold in the flour followed by the dried fruit, cherries, chocolate and milk and, when thoroughly combined, spoon half of the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly.

5. Roll-out one third of the marzipan to a circle slightly smaller than the tin. Set in on top of the cake the cover with the rest of the cake mixture. Spread it evenly then make a slight hollow in the centre so the cake rises evenly.

6. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3 and bake for a further 60 - 70 minutes or until a skewer inserted in to the centre of the cake, just down to the marzipan layer, comes out clean.

7. Leave to cool on a wire rack then remove from the tin and discard the lining paper.

8. Roll out two-thirds of the remaining marzipan to a circle to fit the top of the cake. Brush the top of the cake with a little warm apricot jam or sherry and set the marzipan disc on top.

9. Shape the rest of the marzipan into 11 balls and arrange around the edge. Then fill the centre with mini Speckled Eggs and finish with a ribbon around the cake.

10. Enjoy!

Related

Guinness Cake - Hero.jpg

Chocolate Guinness Cake

1920_Cakestand_1_092.jpg

Afternoon Lemon Cakes

hero.jpg

Best cake stands

Latest...

There’s a psychological reason you’re in love with Starbucks’ red cups

It’s not just because Christmas is coming

by Gemma Crisp
18 Oct 2017

Nigella Lawson says this is the next big food trend

Will this steal avocado’s crown?

by Nicola Colyer
18 Oct 2017

The UK's first permanent avocado restaurant is coming to London

It’s everything we avo wanted

by Megan Murray
18 Oct 2017

Your Starbucks Halloween Frappuccino fix is here and it’s fangtastic

Sink your teeth into this

by Megan Murray
17 Oct 2017

Hold up, there's an avocado chocolate bar – AND it’s vegan

Don't fight it

by Megan Murray
17 Oct 2017

Percy Pig has had a scary Halloween revamp (but he’s still delicious)

Percy ain’t so cute anymore

by Megan Murray
12 Oct 2017

This company wants to pay YOU to eat pizza

This is going to be a tough role to fill

by Susan Devaney
11 Oct 2017

2017’s best bar in the world is right here in the UK

And it’s a Martini glass of old-school glamour

by Amy Swales
10 Oct 2017

Lidl has launched hangover-free prosecco, and no you're not dreaming

We've just got our Sunday mornings back

by Megan Murray
10 Oct 2017

An unlimited cheese and mulled wine festival is coming to London

Will you be visiting the city’s giant cheese board this Christmas?

by Susan Devaney
09 Oct 2017