Go Back
+ servings

Simnel Cake

My version of this classic Easter cake, a light almond fruit cake filled and topped with marzipan.
Keyword Easter Cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 11 people
Calories 713kcal
Author Charlotte Oates


For the fruit cake

  • 150 g unsalted butter or margarine soft and at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 g soft light brown sugar you could also use dark brown or muscovado sugar
  • 150 g self raising flour
  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 300 g mixed dried fruit
  • 100 g glacé cherries
  • 225 ml Amaretto liqueur See recipe FAQs for alternatives
  • 150 g marzipan
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • tsp salt

To decorate

  • 410 g marzipan
  • A little icing sugar


The day before you want to bake your cake (See FAQs for notes on if you want to bake your cake the same day)

  • Roughly chop your glace cherries (100g).
  • Place your chopped glace cherries and dried mixed fruit (300g) into a large bowl. Add the Amaretto liqueur (225ml). Cover the bowl and soak the fruit in the liqueur overnight.

Make the fruit cake

  • Pre-heat your oven to 160°C/140°C fan
  • Line a deep 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper or reusuable baking liners.
  • Finely grate the zest of 1 orange.
  • Chop the marzipan (150g) into roughy 1cm cubes.
  • Beat the butter (150g) and soft light brown sugar (150g) until light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs (2 large) one at a time. Beat well after after adding the first egg before adding the second.
  • Fold in the self-raising flour (150g), ground almonds (150g), ground mixed spice (2 tsp) and salt (⅛ tsp).
  • Add the soaked fruit, orange zest and marzipan chunks into the cake mixture and fold until they're evenly distributed.
  • Put the cake mixture into your prepared tin and bake for c. 1 hour 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clear.
    Note - if you hit a warm marzipan chunk with your skewer it will come out sticky even if the cake is cooked through, so you may want to check a couple of spots to double check if it's not clean first time.
  • Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the tin and transfer it to a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.

Decorate your cake

  • Sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with a little icing sugar. Take 300g of your your marzipan and roll it out into a circle the same size as your cake.
    To ruffle the edges as I have done in the images, place a finger below the marzipan circle and gently push down either side (you need to be careful doing this to ensure you don't split the marzipan). Repeat around the edge of the circle.
    Lay the marzipan over the top of your cake.
  • Split the remaining marzipan (110g) into 11 equal sized pieces. Roll each one into a ball and place them equally spaced around the edge of the cake. If they won't stay where you've put them you can use a small amount of water or a little beaten egg white to help them to stick.
  • Pop your cake under the grill until your marzipan ball have started to brown on top (keep a close eye on your cake as the colour can turn very quickly). Alternatively you can give each marzipan ball a short blast with a blow torch to achieve the same effect or just grill the balls before placing them on top of the cake.


Calories: 713kcal | Carbohydrates: 98.2g | Protein: 10.5g | Fat: 26.4g | Saturated Fat: 8.6g | Sodium: 85.5mg | Fiber: 4.2g | Sugar: 72.4g