Simnel loaf cake
- March 2020
- Serves 10-12
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 2¼ hours, plus at least 2 hours soaking
Our easy simnel cake recipe is made in a loaf tin to keep things nice and easy. It’s delicious served warm, too, topped with apricot jam.
Now, check out this chocolate simnel cake made with sour cherries and hazelnuts.
- 19.4g (8.4g saturated)
- 58.1g (43.1g sugars)
- 100g sultanas
- 100g raisins
- 100g currants
- 50g mixed candied peel
- 50g glacé cherries, halved
- Finely grated zest 1 large orange
- 3 tbsp brandy (or orange juice)
- 170g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 140g light brown sugar
- 4 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 85g self-raising flour
- 85g plain flour
- 85g ground almonds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- 150g marzipan, cut into 1cm chunks
- 6 tbsp apricot jam
You’ll also need…
- 900g loaf tin, greased and lined with 2 layers baking paper
- Mix the dried fruit, peel, cherries, zest and brandy/orange juice in a non-metallic mixing bowl, then cover and set aside for at least 2 hours or overnight (see Make Ahead).
- When ready to cook, heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. Put the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, then beat with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the beaten eggs, bringing the mixture back to smooth before each addition, adding 1 tbsp flour if the mixture looks as though it might curdle.
- Add the flours, ground almonds, spices and a pinch of salt, then gently fold in until almost combined. Add the soaked fruits and any juices, scatter the marzipan chunks on top, add 2 tbsp apricot jam, then fold everything together using a large metal spoon until smooth. Spoon into the prepared tin, level the top, then bake for 2¼ hours until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then remove and set on a wire rack to cool completely (see tip).
- Warm the remaining apricot jam until just melted, then brush over the cake before slicing to serve.
This cake is also delicious served warm. After cooling in the tin for 30 minutes, top with the apricot jam and serve warm.
Fancy a more traditional cake?
If you want to decorate the simnel cake for Easter in a more traditional style, cover the cake with a rectangle of marzipan (about 150g), then scatter with edible flowers (from Ocado or Maddocks Farm Organics) as we’ve done here. To make it truly traditional, roll some extra marzipan into 11 small balls and arrange on top to represent the ‘good’ apostles.
Soak the dried fruit for up to 1 week ahead of making the loaf cake.
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