Easter Simnel Cake Recipe

Easter Simnel Cake

The Easter Simnel Cake is a traditional British cake that is associated with the Easter holiday. It is a rich fruit cake that is filled with dried fruits, such as currants, raisins, and candied peel. The cake is often flavored with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, and it is also commonly infused with a delicious almond flavor.

One of the most distinctive features of the Easter Simnel Cake is its decoration. The cake is typically topped with a layer of marzipan, and it is then adorned with 11 marzipan balls, which represent the 12 apostles of Jesus, minus Judas. This tradition dates back to the 17th century and is still followed today.


The Easter Simnel Cake is a traditional British fruitcake that is enjoyed during the Easter season. It is made with a variety of ingredients that give it its unique flavor and texture. The main ingredients in this cake include:

  • Fruit Mixture: The fruit mixture consists of a combination of dried fruits such as currants, sultanas, raisins, and mixed candied peel. These dried fruits add a rich and sweet taste to the cake.
  • Flour: The cake is made with self-raising flour, which helps to give it a light and fluffy texture.
  • Sugar: Both caster sugar and brown sugar are used in the recipe to add sweetness to the cake.
  • Eggs: The eggs are beaten and added to the batter to bind the ingredients together and give the cake structure.
  • Butter: Softened butter is used to make the cake moist and tender.
  • Almond Paste: A layer of almond paste is traditionally placed in the middle of the cake and on top. It adds a delicious almond flavor and provides a smooth surface for the marzipan.
  • Marzipan: Marzipan is used to decorate the top of the cake. It is often shaped into eleven small balls to represent the apostles, excluding Judas.
  • Apricot Jam: Apricot jam is used to glaze the top of the cake before adding the marzipan, giving it a glossy finish.

Preparation steps for Easter Simnel Cake

Preparing the dough:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and mixed spice.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.
  5. Add in the grated lemon zest, chopped dried fruit, and chopped almonds. Mix until well distributed.

Baking the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) and grease a round cake tin.
  2. Spoon half of the dough into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
  3. Roll out a third of the marzipan into a round shape that fits the tin and place it on top of the dough.
  4. Spoon the remaining dough on top of the marzipan and smooth the surface.
  5. Bake for 2-2.5 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Decorating the cake:

  1. Once the cake has cooled, roll out another third of the marzipan into a round shape and place it on top of the cake.
  2. Using the remaining marzipan, shape 11 small balls to represent the disciples and place them around the edge of the cake.
  3. Place the cake under a hot grill for a few minutes until the marzipan is lightly toasted.
  4. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.

Tips from professional chefs on making Easter Simnel Cake

When making Easter Simnel Cake, professional chefs recommend following a few key tips to ensure the best results. Here are some expert suggestions:

  1. Use fresh ingredients: It is essential to use fresh and high-quality ingredients when making Easter Simnel Cake. From the eggs to the dried fruits, using fresh and premium ingredients will greatly enhance the taste and texture of the cake.
  2. Soak the dried fruits: Soaking the dried fruits in alcohol or fruit juice overnight before adding them to the cake batter helps to rehydrate them and infuse the fruits with flavor. This step also helps to prevent the fruits from drying out during baking, resulting in a moist and tender cake.
  3. Add a layer of marzipan: To give the Easter Simnel Cake its traditional and distinctive flavor, professional chefs recommend adding a layer of marzipan in the middle of the cake. This layer not only adds sweetness and richness but also helps to keep the cake moist. It also provides a lovely surprise when sliced.

With these expert tips, you can create a delicious and authentic Easter Simnel Cake that is sure to impress your family and friends.


I recently had the pleasure of making and tasting the Easter Simnel Cake, and I must say it was a truly delightful experience. The cake itself was moist and flavorful, with a perfect balance of sweetness from the dried fruits and a hint of tanginess from the apricot jam. The addition of marzipan both in the cake and as a decoration on the top added a rich and indulgent touch.

The texture of the cake was absolutely perfect – light and airy, yet still dense enough to hold the shape. It was a joy to cut through the layers and discover the hidden marzipan center. Each bite was a burst of fruity goodness, with the almonds from the marzipan adding a satisfying crunch.

As for the appearance of the cake, it was simply stunning. The golden brown color of the top, adorned with the perfectly browned marzipan balls, made for an impressive centerpiece on the Easter table. It was a true work of art.

All in all, I couldn’t have been happier with the Easter Simnel Cake. It was a delicious and visually appealing treat that brought joy to both the eyes and taste buds. I highly recommend trying this recipe for anyone who wants to impress their guests or simply indulge in a delightful Easter dessert.

I recently had the pleasure of making and tasting the Easter Simnel Cake, and I must say that it was an absolute delight. The cake itself was incredibly moist and had a rich, buttery flavor that was perfectly complemented by the almond marzipan filling. The recipe was easy to follow and the end result was a beautifully decorated cake that looked as good as it tasted.

One of the things that I loved most about the Easter Simnel Cake was the combination of fruit and spices. The cake was filled with plump dried fruits such as currants and raisins, which added a burst of sweetness and a chewy texture. The addition of ground cinnamon and nutmeg gave the cake a warm and aromatic flavor that was perfect for the Easter season. It was like a taste of spring in every bite.

The marzipan layer in the middle of the cake was a real highlight for me. It added a layer of sweetness and a slightly nutty flavor that balanced out the richness of the cake. The marzipan was soft and smooth, and it complemented the fruit and spices perfectly. It was also a nice surprise to find a layer of marzipan on top of the cake, which was then lightly toasted to give it a delicious caramelized flavor.

All in all, I highly recommend trying the Easter Simnel Cake. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, this cake is a real treat. It’s the perfect centerpiece for any Easter gathering, and I guarantee that it will be a hit with friends and family. The combination of moist cake, fruity filling, and sweet marzipan is simply irresistible. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

I recently had the pleasure of making and tasting the Easter Simnel Cake and it was truly a delicious treat. The cake was moist and packed full of rich flavors that perfectly captured the essence of Easter. The recipe provided clear instructions and all the ingredients were easy to find, which made the baking process a breeze.

One of the standout elements of this cake is the marzipan layer that is placed in the middle and on top. It adds a sweet and slightly nutty flavor that complements the spices in the cake beautifully. The marzipan also gives the cake a lovely texture, adding a bit of chewiness that makes each bite more enjoyable.

Another highlight of this recipe is the traditional decoration with 11 marzipan balls on top of the cake, representing the 12 apostles minus Judas. It adds a festive and symbolic touch to the cake, which makes it even more appropriate for Easter celebrations. The cake looked absolutely stunning once it was finished, and it received many compliments from my family and friends.

In conclusion, the Easter Simnel Cake is a wonderful choice for anyone looking to add a touch of tradition to their Easter celebrations. The combination of flavors, moist texture, and beautiful decoration make it a delicious and visually appealing treat. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try, whether you’re an experienced baker or just looking for a tasty Easter dessert.

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