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Simple Simnel Cake Recipe (Easter Fruitcake)

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Hello Daring Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: This conventional Simnel Cake Recipe is so simple to make for Easter! It’s a lighter fruitcake in comparison with Christmas Cake however nonetheless candy, dense, loaded with chewy brandy-soaked dried fruit and fragrant and nutty marzipan

Like most very younger youngsters, I didn’t even care about consuming fruitcakes till I grew up. Moreover counting up chocolate eggs with my brother and sisters within the mornings on Easter Sundays, some of the memorable moments was gathering and even making the elements for this simple but scrumptious Simnel Cake with Mammy Stafford. Now being away from Eire, this conventional Easter Deal with brings me again residence and one thing in regards to the almond simply has me coming again for extra!

I can’t consider a greater approach to share the enjoyment than passing this conventional Simnel Cake Recipe onto Georgie and also you Daring Bakers!

Desk of  Contents

What’s Simnel Cake?

Simnel Cake is a scrumptious conventional fruitcake usually eaten throughout Easter in the UK, Eire and another international locations, usually distinguished by a layer of marzipan baked within the center and one toasted on prime. It’s candy, zesty, fragrant, spiced, and dense, loaded with brandy-soaked dried fruit and nutty marzipanConventionally, bakers enhance their Simnel Truffles with 11 marzipan balls on prime symbolizing 12 apostles with out Judas Iscariot.

Easy Simnel Cake Recipe

The historical past of Simnel Cake can date again to medieval occasions when yeast was the unique leavening agent as a substitute of baking powder. These days, it has advanced into wealthy and fancy desserts:

  • The first model is believed to be Shrewsbury Simnel cake. It was infused with saffron representing a deep yellow shade, filled with candied peel and wealthy combined fruit, and lined with a scalloped-edged pastry.
  • The 2nd is a primary boiled, then baked and glazed Devizes star-shape Simnel with currants, lemon peel and saffron.
  • The third additionally what’s largely eaten as we speak is from Bury, England. It seemingly turned the most typical one from presenting it to Queen Victoria in 1863.

Although the origin of the identify “simnel” is unclear, folks have their very own theories:

  • “Simnel” could come from the 2 inventors “Simon” and “Nelly” who respectively insisted boiling and baking the cake with leftovers from Christmas.
  • It might be named after Lambert Simnel who shared her reminiscence of having fun with the cake on Mothering Sunday.
  • More than likely, “simnel” got here from Latin phrase which means “wonderful wheat flour”-“simila”.

Simnel Cake Recipe Components

Fruit Combine:

  • Blended dried fruit:  Resembling raisins, diced apricots and currants or sultanas. Make sure to hold the soaking fruit lined so the brandy absorbs into the fruit and doesn’t evaporate.
  • Glacé cherries: Not maraschino cherries! Make Glacé Cherries with recent fruits when you can’t discover any!
  • Brandy: If you wish to hold this alcohol-free, substitute the brandy with a further 3 tablespoons of orange juice.
  • Citrus zest and juice: From 1 medium orange and 1 lemon, which add freshness and tang to steadiness the sweetness and richness.


A wealthy candy almond paste consisting of almonds, sugar, icing sugar, egg, and almond extract to raise baked items with nutty taste. When you can’t discover a store-bought marzipan, make your individual very simply! Make 1½ occasions the Marzipan recipe to yield sufficient for the cake.

Cake Batter

  • Butter: Softened completely – once you push the butter and it makes an indent, however your finger doesn’t simply squish proper by means of.”creaming” butter and brown sugar collectively till gentle and fluffy will incorporate air within the batter to aerate the cake.
  • Darkish brown sugar: Moreover sweetness, darkish brown sugar additionally provides richer molassesy taste, extra moisture and attributes to a greater golden brown end than gentle brown sugar.
  • Granulated sugar: For sprinkling the work floor for rolling out marzipan.
  • Giant eggs: At all times have eggs at room temperature until specified in any other case. They’re simple to whip up and to combine throughly with fats to kind a homogenous emulsion. This won’t solely stabilize the ethereal and fluffy cake construction but in addition keep away from raw uncooked eggy style.
  • All-purpose flour (AP):  AP is the bottom of this cake with an ideal protein content material of round 11% for a signature cakey texture as a substitute of being chewy like bread.
  • Floor almonds: Use retailer purchased or home made floor almonds.   
  • Blended spice: If it’s arduous to come back by, fear no extra and make home made combined spice to get pleasure from!
  • Baking powder: It’s the leavening agent to make Simnel Cake rise at the moment (instead of unique yeast).
  • Salt: Brings out all of the flavors, savory and candy!


  • Apricot jam: Check out my simple home made Jam Recipe! It tastes significantly better with good high quality elements than store-bought ones.
  • Egg wash: Crushed entire eggs or egg yolk barely thinned out with milk.


The way to Make Simnel Cake

Bake the Cake

  • Cook dinner and soak dried fruit: In a small saucepan over medium-low warmth, mix the combined dried fruit, glace cherries, brandy, orange zest and juice and lemon zest and let come to a simmer. Take away from the warmth, cowl and put aside, stirring often, till the combination cools to room temperature and the dried fruit has absorbed the liquid. (Taking about 1 hour.)

  • Prep oven & pan: Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) and butter and line the underside of an 8-inch (20 cm) springform cake tin with two layers of parchment. Put aside.

  • Roll out marzipan: On a floor sprinkled with granulated sugar, roll out ½ the marzipan to ¼-inch thick and minimize out an 8-inch (20 cm) circle. Repeat with the remaining ½ to yield one other 8-inch (20 cm) circle. Set these and the remaining marzipan apart.
  • Combine WET for batter: Within the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a big bowl and a handheld electrical mixer), beat the butter and brown sugar collectively on medium pace till gentle and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one after the other. Scrape the bowl a couple of occasions to make sure even mixing.

  • Combine DRY for batter: In a medium bowl, mix the flour, almonds, combined spice, baking powder and salt, then progressively add this to the butter combination.
  • Mix: Fold within the cool dried fruit and any remaining liquid within the pot.

  • Bake: Pour half of the batter into the ready springform pan, prime with the circle of marzipan after which pour on the remaining batter. Bake for 60-75 minutes, till a picket skewer comes out clear. Let cool within the pan for 20 minutes earlier than transferring to a wire rack to chill fully.

Assemble & enhance:

  • Brush the highest of the cake with the apricot jam and place the marzipan circle on prime of the cake. You may crimp the sides to create a ruffle sample if you want.
  • Divide the remainder of the marzipan into 11 equal parts and roll every right into a ball.
  • Brush the marzipan on the cake with egg wash, then place the balls evenly spaced across the fringe of the circle. Brush the marzipan balls with extra egg wash.
  • Flip the broiler on excessive, place the cake on a baking sheet and broil for 1 or 2 minutes till toasted, watching very fastidiously. Take away as quickly because the marzipan begins to caramelize.


Let cool earlier than slicing and luxuriate in with a cup of tea.

Slices of Simnel Cake for Easter

The way to Cease Fruit From Sinking to the Backside?

All you must do is give all of your goodies (raisins, cherries, blueberries, currants, and many others) a light-weight coating of flour earlier than including them into your fruit desserts’ batters. It’s simply that simple! And discover out why this works in my article of The way to Cease Fruit From Sinking to the Backside of Cake!

A slice of Easter Simnel Cake loaded with brandy-soaked dried fruit and nutty marzipan.

The way to Retailer Simnel Cake? Can I Freeze Easter Fruitcake?

The easiest way to retailer a Simnel Cake is at room temperature for as much as 5 days.

Truffles freeze effectively so it’s also possible to wrap up your Simnel Cake and freeze it for as much as 4 weeks.


What’s the distinction between maraschino cherries and Glacé Cherries (Candied Cherries)?

Maraschino cherries and Glacé Cherries will not be the identical.

Maraschino cherries which can be chemically preserved in brine answer to bleach the colour then dyed and candied with sugary syrup and different elements. However, Glacé Cherries which can be recent cherries which have been simmered in a thick sugar syrup to soak up the moisture till they’re ‘candied’, with out different chemical compounds. So, make Glacé Cherries as a substitute!

What’s the distinction between Marzipan and Frangipane?

Whereas Frangipane and Marzipan consist of comparable elements, they’ve very totally different makes use of. (You can also make each per my recipes!)

Frangipane is usually used with baked items, on the backside of tarts and galettes, and can be like a liquid and fairly free.  Whereas Marzipan will be baked with or utilized in its uncooked kind and is extra like an almond Playdoh — which is ideal for adorning and forming into totally different shapes.

What’s the Distinction Between Almond Flour, Almond Meal, and Floor Almonds?

Almond flour, almond meal and floor almonds are the identical with only a minor distinction. Floor almonds, which you’ll be able to grind your self in a meals processor or blender and use on this recipe (make sure you use frozen, both toasted or untoasted, almonds in case you are doing this!), are merely almonds that with a flour-like texture. Floor almonds are also called almond flour and almond meal.

Almond flour tends to be finer than almond meal.

Additionally, whereas most almond flours are blanched, which suggests their skins have been eliminated, an almond meal will be blanched or unblanched.

Gemma’s Professional Chef Ideas:

  • You can begin soaking the fruit a day earlier than you need to make the cake to permit the fruit to completely take up the liquid.
  • Marzipan will burn in a short time within the broiler so watch continuously till it’s achieved. You can even use a blowtorch with care! Marzipan on a homemade Simnel Cake


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