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A Simnel cake is a light fruit cake that is covered in marzipan & was originally made as a treat for Mothering Sunday.


For the Cake:

  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g butter, softened
  • 250 g self-raising flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 250 g sultana
  • 150 g ready to eat dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
  • 50 g stem ginger, finely chopped

For the Topping

  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • 450 g golden marzipan


  1. Preheat the oven to 150 C fan / Gas 3. You will need a 23cm / 9” round springform tin. Line the base and grease the sides well.
  2. Mix the caster sugar, butter, flour, eggs, zest and spice together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the prepared fruit and mix well. Spoon half of the cake mixture into the base of the tin.
  3. Roll one third (150g) of the marzipan out to a 23cm (9”) circle and place on top of the mixture. Spoon the remaining cake mixture on top and level.
  4. Bake in the oven for about one hour 45 minutes to 2 hours or until golden brown and  firm to the touch. Remove from the tin and leave to become cold.
  5. Meanwhile, roll another third of the marzipan out to a 23cm (9”) circle.
  6. When the cake is cold, melt the jam in a small pan, then brush the top of the cake with the jam and place the marzipan circle on top.
  7. Divide the remaining third of the marzipan into 11 pieces and shape into little balls by rolling between your palms.
  8. Position these around the edge of the cake.
  9. Arrange fresh flowers or flowers made of icing in the middle of the cake and decorate to serve.
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