Our easy Simnel Cake recipe tells the story behind this traditional Easter treat!
• 50g unblanched almonds, roasted and chopped
• 225g marzipan
• 175g butter, at room temperature
• 175g light brown sugar
• 3 large eggs, beaten
• 100ml milk
• 2 tbsp brandy
• 225g flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• 1/2 tsp salt
• Large pinch saffron
• 175g currants
• 225g sultanas
• 50g glace cherries
• 50g chopped candied peel
• Zest of 1 orange
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 300g marzipan
• 1 tbsp apricot jam
1. Preheat the oven to 140C. Grease and line a tall, 20cm cake tin.
2. Once the oven is hot, roast the almonds on a think baking tray for 8 minutes. Roughly chop them once they’re cool.
3. Chop the marzipan into 1.5cm cubes and gently dust with flour to stop them sticking together.
4. Put the saffron into a mixing just and pour the milk over it to infuse.
5. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk.
6. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, mixed spice and salt.
7. Tip in the dried and candied fruits and zest, along with the saffron milk, and mix with a wooden spoon until it all comes together. Then add the marzipan chunks and stir through.
8. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin.
9. Cut out a circle of non-stick baking paper just smaller than your tin, and position this in the tin to protect the cake while it bakes - try not to let it stick to the cake mixture.
10. Bake for 2 hours and 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
11. Let the cake cool in its tin for 30 minutes then move it to a wire rack - keeping the paper on it until you’re ready to decorate it.
12. Once the cake is baked and cool, roll out two-thirds of the marzipan into a circle the same size as your cake (20cm). Divide the remaining marzipan into 12 balls.
13. Loosen the apricot jam with a spoon then spread it across the top of the cake.
14. Place the marzipan on top and press it down gently to secure it.
15. Position the 12 marzipan balls around the edge of the cake - secure them with a dab of jam if needed.
16. Use a blowtorch to gently toast the top of the cake and marzipan balls. The marzipan can burn easily, so go slowly until you get the hang of it.