COME AND VISIT OUR WAREHOUSE SHOP. OPEN WEEKDAYS 9am - 5pm at CHURCH FARM, RODE, SOMERSET BA11 6AA

Traditional Simnel Cake

Traditional Simnel Cake

With thanks to Caroline Chilton-Bates @chefcarolina for this recipe!

Simnel Cake is a delicious, rich Easter cake, made with fruit and almond paste. Although marzipan is readily available, homemade almond paste is very quick and easy and tastes so much better. The cake is traditionally decorated with 11 marzipan balls representing the disciples - minus Judas Iscariot. This cake is truly delicious and will keep for up to three weeks in an airtight container.

For the almond paste:
225g Ground almonds
125g Caster sugar
125g Icing sugar
2 egg yolks
Seeds from ½ Vanilla pod 
1 tsp Orange Flower water
¼ tsp Almond essence
1 tbsp Lemon juice

For the Simnel cake:
250g Mixed fruit (including raisins, sultanas, candied mixed peel,
1 orange, zest and juice)
500g Marzipan (if not making your own)
250g Butter
200g Caster Sugar
4 Eggs  (plus 1 beaten to glaze)
175g Plain flour
100g Ground almonds
1 tsp Baking powder
1 Lemon (zested)
2 tsps Mixed spice
Seeds from ½ Vanilla pod 
3 tbsps Apricot jam

Method:
1. First make your almond paste – put all your ingredients into a blender (or whisk with a hand whisk until all combined into a rough paste).
2. Turn out and knead until smooth using extra icing sugar to prevent sticking.
3. Place in the fridge whilst preparing your cake.

For the cake:
1. Grease a deep 20cm cake tin (or a 23cm one if you don’t have a deep tin). Line with parchment paper
2. Place the mixed fruit in a pan with the orange zest, juice and 2 tbsp water and bring to the boil. Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and leave to cool.
3. Heat oven to 150C / 130C fan / gas 2.
4. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, blending as you do so
6. Add the flour, almonds, baking powder, zest , vanilla seeds and mixed spice. Stir in until all combined. Add the cooled fruit and stir in.
7. Remove your almond paste from the fridge, cut into thirds, roll out two thirds into two separate circles –using your cake tin as a template. Roll eleven evenly sized balls for your “disciples”.
8. Place ½ the cake mixture in your tin and then carefully place one of your almond paste circles on top. Put the remaining mixture on the top smooth it across the top.
9. Bake in the oven for two hours. Check it’s cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle and see if it comes out clean. Once cooked, cool it in the tin for 15 mins and then transfer to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
10. Once cool, paint the top with the apricot jam and place the remaining almond paste circle on top, pressing it down slightly to make it stick. Crimp the edges if desired.
11. Paint the top of the cake with the remaining beaten egg and evenly space the eleven balls on top. Paint those with beaten egg too.
12. Either place the cake under a hot grill for several minutes until the top caramelizes. Alternatively use a kitchen blow torch.

Decorate as you wish - enjoy!





1 Response

Angela Emms
Angela Emms

March 29, 2021

This is delicious, I made it this weekend. Love the marzipan it’s very tasty.
1 correction though, the sugar is missing from the ingredients list for the cake, so I added 200g which seemed to work.

Have you tried this recipe yet? Tell us about it...

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Somerset Foodie recipes - let us inspire you...

Thai Beef Noodle Salad
Thai Beef Noodle Salad

I absolutely adore this salad, it's vibrant, fresh and combines all the bold flavours of Thai cuisine. The tasty seared beef elevates this dish to a main course balanced by light noodles, crunchy vegetables, fragrant herbs and umami rich dressing.
Shawarma Chicken with Tahini Sauce
Shawarma Chicken with Tahini Sauce

1 Comment

Shawarma is up there as one of my favourites, it's so tasty and the hands down winner over the Turkish Doner or the Greek Gyros. Although it's traditionally cooked on a large skewer, rotisserie style, it's easily possible to recreate this fantastic street food classic at home.
Chorizo sausage cooked in cider
Chorizo sausage cooked in cider

1 Comment

Not everyone knows that Spain has a huge cider-drinking culture, but in the Northern region of Asturias there are plenty of apple orchards and sidra is a really popular drink. In the bars of Asturias, the waiters pour cider with a flourish - holding the cider bottle with one hand, a couple of feet above their heads, and pouring it into special glasses that are held below their waists with the other hand. This takes a fair bit of practice and unless you're happy to mop the floor up afterwards, not recommended to try at home!