• Cake, Dessert

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • © The Vegetarian Society

Simnel Cake

A rich ornamental cake made especially at Easter. The eleven marzipan balls represent the eleven disciples of Christ, excluding Judas.

  • Makes 1 large cake

  • Preparation 10 mins

  • Cooking 1 hr

Simnel Cake
  • Suitable for Freezing


  • 75g margarine, softened
  • 75g demerara sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 225g mixed fruit
  • 100g glacé cherries, washed, dried and quartered
  • 50g mixed peel, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • A pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp lemon, finely grated rind
  • 225g flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 75g marzipan
For the topping
  • 30ml apricot jam, warmed
  • 350g marzipan


  1. Line and grease a 18cm diameter round cake tin. Cream the margarine and sugar, gradually beat in the eggs. Fold in the mixed fruit, glacé cherries, mixed peel, spices, lemon rind and flour. If the mixture is too firm add the milk. Spoon half of the cake mixture into the tin. Roll out the 75g of marzipan to a 18cm circle, and place this onto the cake mixture.
  2. Cover with the remaining cake mixture. Cover with foil. Bake at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 30- 40 minutes , or until golden. Remove the cake from the tin and allow to cool. You can freeze the cake for another time at this point if you like.
  3. Use 2/3 of the marzipan to make a further 18cm circle. Use the remaining marzipan to make 11 small balls.
  4. Brush the top of the cake with jam and place the circle of marzipan over. Arrange the balls around the edge of the cake, fixing them with the remaining jam. Place under a hot grill until the marzipan begins to turn brown. Tie a yellow ribbon around the cake and decorate with flowers.

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