The Simnel cake is a cake traditionally baked during Easter in the UK. It's a light fruit cake that has two layers of marzipan, one in the middle and the other on top. The eleven balls of marzipan on top represent the 12 apostles minus Judas (for obvious reasons).
This fruit cake is lighter than the Christmas cake and the marzipan layer in the middle of the cake gives it a unique taste.
My Hubby loves fruit cakes and he has been bugging me for years to bake it for him. I finally caved in and made it for him this year. It got the thumbs up :)
- 100g glacé cherries, cut into quarters
- 225g softened butter
- 225g brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 225g self raising flour
- 375 mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, fruit peel)
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 500g marzipan/almond paste
- 2 tbs apricot jam, warmed in the microwave
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
- Preheat oven to 130degC Fan forced. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, to prevent them from curdling. Sift the flour and mix it in a little at a time.
- Add the cherries, mixed fruit, mixed spice and the zest and mix until well combined.
- Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
- Take one third of the marzipan and roll it out to a circle the same size as the tin. Place it on top of the cake mixture. Spoon the rest of the cake mixture on top of the marzipan and level the surface.
- Bake for 2- 2/12 hours until well risen and equally browned on top. Check after 2 hours. Leave to cool in the tin for about 10mins before turning out onto a cake rack.
- When cooled, brush the warm apricot jam over the top of cake and roll out half of the remaining marzipan to fit the top of the cake. Press firmly on the top and crimp the edges. Lightly brush with the beaten egg.
- With the remaining marzipan, form eleven balls and arrange the balls around the edge of the cake. Brush the balls with the beaten egg.
- Place the cake under a hot grill to turn the marzipan golden-brown. Alternatively, you can use a blow torch,
Happy Easter and Bon Appetite,