The Perfect Simnel Cake: Celebrate Easter with British Tradition

This Easter, treat yourself to a delicious taste of British heritage with our recipe for Simnel Cake! This savoury cake, adorned with juicy currants, sultanas, and a secret layer of marzipan, has a light and fluffy texture and was inspired by the legendary chef Mary Berry.

This recipe, which is ideal for Easter celebrations or as a teatime treat, combines Mary Berry’s straightforward method with practical advice and tweaks to produce an incredibly delicious Simnel Cake.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 225 g (8 oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) milk
  • 175 g (6 oz) mixed dried fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins)
  • 75 g (2 ½ oz) glacé cherries, halved

For the Marzipan Layer:

  • 115 g (4 oz) almond flour
  • 115 g (4 oz) icing sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg white

For the Topping:

  • 1 large free-range egg yolk, beaten
  • 50 g (2 oz) flaked almonds
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster sugar

Instruction

  1. Set the oven temperature to 160°C (320°F/Gas Mark 3). Line and grease an 8-inch (20 cm) circular cake pan.
  2. Beat the sugar and softened butter together until they are light and fluffy. One egg at a time, beating until each is well mixed in before adding the next.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and mixed spice in a another basin. Alternately add the milk and the dry ingredients to the wet mixture gradually. Once uniformly distributed, fold in the mixed dried fruit and cherries.
  4. To create the marzipan layer, mix together the icing sugar and almond flour. Make a well in the middle and pour in the egg white with a clean finger. Stir well to create a soft dough. On a surface dusted with flour, roll out the marzipan to a circle that is somewhat bigger than the bottom of the cake tin.

Put Together and Bake:

  1. Fill the prepared pan with half of the cake batter. Spoon over the remaining cake batter after gently pressing the marzipan layer on top.
  2. Lightly brush the cake’s top with the beaten egg yolk and then heavily sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
  3. Bake for one hour and fifteen minutes to one hour and thirty minutes, or until an inner skewer is clean.

Conventional Touch (Selective):

  • Eleven Balls of Marzipan: Some choose to honour tradition by shaping the remaining marzipan dough into eleven little balls, which stand in for the eleven apostles (Judas excepted).
  • For the last fifteen minutes of baking, brush these balls with egg yolk and bake them next to the cake. Place these marzipan balls on top of the cooled cake as decoration.

The Finishing Touch:

  1. Prepare the topping while the cake is still warm. One tablespoon of water and the caster sugar should be slowly heated in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves. After brushing the cake with the heated syrup, let it cool fully on a wire rack.

Tips
Lacking glacé cherries? For a fun twist, replace them with chopped dried apricots or cranberries.
For up to five days, this Simnel Cake will keep nicely stored in an airtight container.
Serving suggestion: Pair your Simnel Cake with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy it warm or at room temperature. It goes nicely with a glass of dessert wine as well.

The Simnel Cake’s History:
A classic British fruit cake connected to Easter festivities is called sonnel cake. It is thought to have started out as a Lenten dish in the Middle Ages.


Concerning Mary Berry:
Mary Berry is a well-liked baking icon from Britain, renowned for her traditional recipes and practical cooking style. Her classic methods are the source of inspiration for this recipe.

The Perfect Simnel Cake: Celebrate Easter with British Tradition

Simnel Cake Recipe – A Taste of British Easter Tradition

Nicole McLaughlin
Indulge in a taste of British tradition with this Simnel Cake recipe! 🇬🇧 A light & fluffy cake packed with fruit & a hidden marzipan layer. Perfect for Easter celebrations or a teatime treat. #Easter #Baking
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British cuisine
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

For the Cake:

  • 175 g 6 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 g 6 oz caster sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 225 g 8 oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 125 ml 4 fl oz milk
  • 175 g 6 oz mixed dried fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins)
  • 75 g 2 ½ oz glacé cherries, halved

For the Marzipan Layer:

  • 115 g 4 oz almond flour
  • 115 g 4 oz icing sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg white

For the Topping:

  • 1 large free-range egg yolk beaten
  • 50 g 2 oz flaked almonds
  • 115 g 4 oz caster sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F/Gas Mark 3). Grease and line a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin.
  • Cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and mixed spice. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, alternating with the milk. Fold in the mixed dried fruit and cherries until evenly distributed.
  • To make the marzipan layer, combine the almond flour and icing sugar. Using a clean finger, make a well in the center and add the egg white. Mix well to form a pliable dough. Roll out the marzipan on a lightly floured surface to a circle slightly larger than the base of your cake tin.
  • Spoon half of the cake batter into the prepared tin. Gently press the marzipan layer on top, then spoon over the remaining cake batter.
  • Brush the top of the cake with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle generously with flaked almonds.
  • Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While the cake is still warm, make the topping. In a small saucepan, gently heat the caster sugar with 1 tablespoon of water until the sugar dissolves. Brush the warm syrup over the top of the cake and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes

  • Feel free to add eleven marzipan balls to the top of the cake for a traditional touch, representing the eleven apostles (minus Judas). Brush them with egg yolk and bake for the last 15 minutes with the cake.
  • This recipe is optimized for a UK audience.
Keyword Simnel Cake

Nicole McLaughlin host a fun cooking show called "You Can Cook That." She's a great teacher with lots of experience (over 20 years!), and she makes cooking easy and affordable with helpful tips and recipes. She's also funny and keeps things interesting! Also the contributor of ALlrecipes site.

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