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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 straightforward 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. In addition to counting up chocolate eggs with my brother and sisters within the mornings on Easter Sundays, one of the vital memorable moments was gathering and even making the substances for this straightforward but scrumptious Simnel Cake with Mammy Stafford. Now being away from Eire, this conventional Easter Deal with brings me again dwelling and one thing in regards to the almond simply has me coming again for extra!

I can’t consider a greater technique 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 high. It’s candy, zesty, fragrant, spiced, and dense, loaded with brandy-soaked dried fruit and nutty marzipanConventionally, bakers adorn their Simnel Truffles with 11 marzipan balls on high symbolizing 12 apostles with out Judas Iscariot.

Easy Simnel Cake Recipe

The historical past of Simnel Cake can date again to medieval instances when yeast was the unique leavening agent as an alternative of baking powder. These days, it has developed into wealthy and fancy truffles:

  • The first model is believed to be Shrewsbury Simnel cake. It was infused with saffron representing a deep yellow colour, filled with candied peel and wealthy combined fruit, and coated 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 in the present day is from Bury, England. It probably grew to become the commonest one from presenting it to Queen Victoria in 1863.

Although the origin of the title “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 could be named after Lambert Simnel who shared her reminiscence of having fun with the cake on Mothering Sunday.
  • Almost certainly, “simnel” got here from Latin phrase which means “high quality wheat flour”-“simila”.

Simnel Cake Recipe Substances

Fruit Combine:

  • Blended dried fruit:  Resembling raisins, diced apricots and currants or sultanas. Be sure you maintain the soaking fruit coated so the brandy absorbs into the fruit and doesn’t evaporate.
  • Glacé cherries: Not maraschino cherries! Make Glacé Cherries with contemporary fruits for those who can’t discover any!
  • Brandy: If you wish to maintain 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. In case you can’t discover a store-bought marzipan, make your personal very simply! Make 1½ instances the Marzipan recipe to yield sufficient for the cake.

Cake Batter

  • Butter: Softened completely – whenever 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 mild and fluffy will incorporate air within the batter to aerate the cake.
  • Darkish brown sugar: In addition to sweetness, darkish brown sugar additionally provides richer molassesy taste, extra moisture and attributes to a greater golden brown end than mild brown sugar.
  • Granulated sugar: For sprinkling the work floor for rolling out marzipan.
  • Giant eggs: All the time have eggs at room temperature except specified in any other case. They’re straightforward 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 additionally 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 an alternative of being chewy like bread.
  • Floor almonds: Use retailer purchased or do-it-yourself floor almonds.   
  • Blended spice: If it’s onerous to return by, fear no extra and make do-it-yourself combined spice to get pleasure from!
  • Baking powder: It’s the leavening agent to make Simnel Cake rise these days (rather than unique yeast).
  • Salt: Brings out all of the flavors, savory and candy!


  • Apricot jam: Check out my straightforward do-it-yourself Jam Recipe! It tastes significantly better with good high quality substances than store-bought ones.
  • Egg wash: Overwhelmed entire eggs or egg yolk barely thinned out with milk.


How one can 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 sometimes, 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 lower 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 velocity till mild and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one after the other. Scrape the bowl just a few instances to make sure even mixing.

  • Combine DRY for batter: In a medium bowl, mix the flour, almonds, combined spice, baking powder and salt, then step by step 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, high 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 & adorn:

  • Brush the highest of the cake with the apricot jam and place the marzipan circle on high of the cake. You may crimp the perimeters 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 rigorously. Take away as quickly because the marzipan begins to caramelize.


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

Slices of Simnel Cake for Easter

How one can Cease Fruit From Sinking to the Backside?

All you need to do is give all of your goodies (raisins, cherries, blueberries, currants, and so on) a lightweight coating of flour earlier than including them into your fruit truffles’ batters. It’s simply that straightforward! And discover out why this works in my article of How one can Cease Fruit From Sinking to the Backside of Cake!

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

How one can Retailer Simnel Cake? Can I Freeze Easter Fruitcake?

One of the best ways 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 are usually not the identical.

Maraschino cherries which can be chemically preserved in brine resolution to bleach the colour then dyed and candied with sugary syrup and different parts. Then again, Glacé Cherries which can be contemporary cherries which have been simmered in a thick sugar syrup to soak up the moisture till they’re ‘candied’, with out different chemical substances. So, make Glacé Cherries as an alternative!

What’s the distinction between Marzipan and Frangipane?

Whereas Frangipane and Marzipan consist of comparable substances, 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 also be like a liquid and fairly free.  Whereas Marzipan could 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 grind your self in a meals processor or blender and use on this recipe (make sure to use frozen, both toasted or untoasted, almonds if you’re doing this!), are merely almonds that with a flour-like texture. Floor almonds are often known as almond flour and almond meal.

Almond flour tends to be finer than almond meal.

Additionally, whereas most almond flours are blanched, which implies their skins have been eliminated, an almond meal could 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 totally soak up the liquid.
  • Marzipan will burn in a short time within the broiler so watch always till it’s executed. You can even use a blowtorch with care! Marzipan on a homemade Simnel Cake


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