clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
simnel cake wrapped in ribbbon

Simnel Cake and Homemade Marzipan

  • Author: polishhousewife
  • Prep Time: 1 hour active min 2 hrs inactive
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 1 minute
  • Yield: 9 to 10 inch cake 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English


A light English fruitcake for Mothering Sunday and Easter



for marzipan:

  • 4 cups ground almonds (use blanched with skins removed if you want a very white marzipan)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1 teaspoon whiskey or almond extract

for cake:

  • 5 1/2 cups dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, diced apricots, diced apple, etc)
  • enough rum or brandy to soak fruit, just enough to cover
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice (or Chinese 5 spice, or pumpkin pie spice)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup candied peel
  • 2 tablespoons apricot or huckleberry jam


for marzipan:

  1. combine all ingredients until a smooth (not crumbly) dough forms, add another teaspoon of whiskey of extract if needed

for cake:

  1. Soak the dried fruit in enough rum or brandy to cover for a couple of hours or overnight
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F
  3. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one, add lemon zest, and spice mix well
  4. Add flour, then blend in candied peel and dried fruit (strained)
  5. Prepare a tall 9 or 10 inch cake pan or spring-form by greasing the pan and lining with paper, add half of the batter to the pan
  6. Roll out 1/3 of the marzipan to a circle the size of your cake pan, place on top of cake batter, top with remaining batter, bake for one hour, reduce heat to 300 and bake 2 more hours or until a tester inserted in the cake comes out clean, cool, remove from pan and remove paper
  7. Roll out 1/3 marzipan, cut to a circle the size of your cake pan, brush cake with jam and top with marizpan
  8. Roll remaining marzipan into 11 or 12 balls to decorate the top of the cake (if you like, insert a booze soaked cherry into each of the marzipan balls
  9. You might add a bit of color by lightly brushing the top with a blow torch
  10. Slice and serve


You might add a pretty ribbon around your cake for decoration before you serve

Keywords: Simnel Cake, Marzipan, homemade, Mothering Sunday, Laetare Sunday, Easter