Simnel Cake Recipe
Our Head Chef, Ron Marriott, shares this traditional Easter cake recipe – a light and almondy fruitcake made from dried fruits, ground almonds, flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and mixed spice. Ron also adds some alcohol to the recipe, which is optional, and as Ron comments: “I know it’s not traditional but it depends on personal preference. It complements the mixed dried fruit really well.”.
Allergens: contains milk, eggs, sulphates, and nuts
Simnel cake recipe
- 250g mixed dried fruit
- 100ml whisky/brandy (optional)
- 1 orange and 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 500g natural marzipan
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g light brown soft sugar
- 4 eggs
- 175g plain flour
- 100g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g glacé cherries
- 150g Lambeth Palace Garden honey
1. Put the mixed dried fruit in a bowl with the orange and lemon juice, brandy/whisky (if using), zest, and 2 tbsp water. Heat gently in a pan and then leave to cool.
2. Heat oven to 130C.
3. Roll out the marzipan and use the base of a deep cake tin (20/22cm is a good size tin to use) to cut out a circle. Butter and line the cake tin with a double layer of parchment to help prevent it from burning.
4. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder, lemon zest, mixed spice, vanilla, and mix until well combined. Fold in the soaked dried fruit and cherries.
5. Scrape half the cake mixture into the tin. Top with the disc of marzipan, then the remaining cake mixture.
6. Bake for 2 hours. Check if it’s cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. If the mixture is still slightly wet, return to the oven for another 10 mins, then check once again. Cool in the tin for 15 mins, then turn out onto a plate and leave to cool.
7. Brush the top of the cake with warmed honey. Roll out the marzipan for a second time and cut out the disc again as you did earlier. Place it on top of the cake.
8. Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 equal-sized balls. Brush the marzipan with a beaten egg and arrange the marzipan balls in a circle on top and brush them with a little egg too. Put under a hot grill or use a blow torch for a minute or two until just starting to caramelise (careful as the marzipan will burn easily). Decorate the cake as you feel appropriate.