Simnel cake

Packed with fruit, spices and marzipan, Simnel Cake is an Easter tradition. We’ve made ours with chunks of marzipan and decorated it with pretty flowers.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 5 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
  • Print


  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup (200g) almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
Simnel cake
  • 175 gram butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (175g) brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 1/4 cup (185g) self-raising flour, plus 2 tbsp extra
  • 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 1 cup (160g) currants
  • 1 1/2 cup (240g) sultanas
  • 1/4 cup (50g) glacé cherries, cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup (40g) candied peel, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
Sugared flowers
  • unsprayed edible flowers
  • 1 egg white, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar


Simnel cake
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced). Grease a deep 18cm round cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
  • 2
    Make marzipan: Combine the sugar, ground almonds and essence in a medium bowl. Mix in the beaten egg to form a soft consistency. Knead for 1 minute or until smooth and elastic. Divide mixture in half; cut one of the portions into 1cm cubes. Toss the cubes in the extra flour, shaking away excess. Wrap the remaining piece in plastic wrap and set aside.
  • 3
    Make cake: Beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs. Fold in the combined sifted flours and mixed spice, then the combined fruit, peel and rind.
  • 4
    Spoon ⅓ of mixture into prepared pan; press in half the marzipan squares. Top with another ⅓ of the mixture, then remaining marzipan squares and, finally, remaining mixture; smooth top.
  • 5
    Bake for 2 hours (cover with foil if over-browning) or until cooked when tested. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • 6
    Brush top of the cold cake with apricot jam. Roll out remaining marzipan to a circle 20cm in diameter. Place the circle of paste on top of the cake; trim edges. Brush the paste with a little of the beaten egg.
  • 7
    Preheat grill on high. Place the cake onto a baking tray and grill for 1-2 minutes, or until the top of the Marzipan is beginning to brown. (A blow torch could also be used.)
  • 8
    Make sugared flowers: Using an artist's paintbrush, paint the flowers with the egg white and press in sugar to coat.
  • 9
    Top cake with sugared flowers to serve.


Suitable to freeze. Not suitable 
to microwave.

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