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Easter Simnel Cake

Traditionally served at Easter, the cake’s eleven marzipan balls are said to represent the true disciples of Jesus. The cake was also given as gifts by girls in domestic service as a Mothering Sunday gift.

I made one for my mum as an Easter gift instead of the usual chocolate egg; she was absolutely blown away by the thought and its meaning at Easter time.

Serves 12


  • 175g self raising flour
  • 75g plain flour
  • 2 level tsp mixed spice
  • 150g currants
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 225g butter
  • 225g sultanas
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 4 small or 5 large eggs
  • Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 450g golden marzipan
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 150/130 fan/gas mark 2
  2. Line a 20cm deep cake tim with 2 layers of baking paper
  3. Sift the flours and spice into a bowl
  4. Stir in the dried fruit
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until creamy
  6. Beat in the eggs one at a time
  7. Fold in the flour mix and add the zest
  8. Put half the mixture in the cake tin and level the top
  9. Sprinkle the top with sugar
  10. Roll our a third of the icing to fit the shape of the tin and place on top of the cake
  11. Cover with the remainder of the cake mixture and level the top
  12. Bake for 2 hours and 30 minutes or when a skewer comes out clean
  13. Remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack
  14. Roll out half of the remaining marzipan into a circle the size of the cake
  15. Shape the rest into 11 balls
  16. Heat the jam with 1 tsp boiling water until melted and brush on top of the cake
  17. Cover the cake with the marzipan
  18. Mark the top of the cake with a cross pattern using a knife
  19. Stick the marzipan balls around the edge of the cake with jam
  20. Lightly brown the marzipan under the grill

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