Simnal Cake – its Easter after all

No one can deny it’s getting sunnier. It is Easter after all. Now to most people this would mean getting lots of chocolate and bunny teddies, for me it’s Simnal cake. If I remember my Sunday school teaching, the cake is suppose to be made to break the 40days and nights in half. My late godmother would probably say I should wait till then, but I’m slightly impatient.

Simnal cake is in essence a rich fruitcake with 2 layers of marzipan, one in the middle of the cake and one on top. It is then decorated with 11-12 balls of marzipan to represent the apostles, minus Judas………….. some would call this controversial, but it’s a cake! No one is quite sure when it dates from, but most likely the medieval period.

Just be warned, This cake isn’t for the type of person who only tolerates fruitcake…… It’s packed

Simnal Cake


  • 8oz Self Raising flour
  • 8oz Stork
  • 8oz Light muscavado Sugar
  • 8oz Sultanas
  • 4oz Glacé cherrys
  • 2oz mixed peel
  • 2teaspoons mixed spice
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Marzipan

I’m making this one for my mums tearoom, so get to use her country living style kitchen with Welsh dresser.

Start by weighing out the flour, sugar and stork and adding to the mixer. Next add all the fruit and mixed peel. The glace cherrys will need quartering so you get a good dispersal throughout the cake.

Finally add the lemon zest, mixed spice and the eggs.

Combine using the K beater as opposed to the ballon whisk which will get stuck in the fruit.

Whilst the batter mixes, roll out a disk of the marzipan. You can make this using ground almonds etc, but ready made examples exist and taste just as good.

Time to assemble the cake. In a deep 8″ tin add half the cake batter, then gently place the disk of marzipan. Finish by topping with the remaining cake batter.

Bake at 150C for 2hr 20mins. After 1hr you might want to add a foil hat to stop the cake browning too heavily-it sometimes works. Leave to cool for 15mins before removing from the tin

To add an extra level of moistness, make a sugar syrup with some rum, cherry brandy, quantro etc. Boil off the alcohol and pour over the cake after making a few holes.

Finally, decorate the cake by topping with the marzipan balls. Start by rolling out a disk the same size as the cake.

To make it stick to the cake, gentle brush the top of the fruitcake with warm apricot jam then firmly crimp the disk to the cake.

All that reminds is to add the apostles, minus Judas of course . Lastly, brush with a little beaten egg and woft with a blow torch.

Simnal Cake

So this cake is currently on sale in the tearoom. Therefore, come a get a cup of tea and a slice- what more do I need to say


P.s Holly, Lorna and Emma, I once sent a cake to a friend in Libya……………. I dare say Asia and Aus are a little easier if you fancy a treat x


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