Simnel cake traditional cake which was originally baked on Mothering Sunday but is now more often eaten on Easter Sunday. The eleven balls of marzipan represent the disciples - the Twelve minus Judas who betrayed Jesus.


  • 6oz (175g) butter
  • 6oz (175g) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 8oz (225g) plain flour
  • 1/2tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4oz (125g) glacÚ cherries
  • 2oz (50g) chopped mixed peel
  • 9oz (250g) currants
  • 4oz (125g) sultanas
  • 1lb (450g) marzipan
  • A little milk if necessary


Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Beat in 3 of the eggs slowly.
Fold in the flour and spices.
Fold in the fruit.
Add a teaspoon or two of milk if too firm.

Line and grease a 7in (18cm) round cake tin.

Roll out half the marzipan to a 6in (15cm) circle.
Spoon half of the cake mixture into the cake tin.
Put the marzipan circle on top of the cake mixture then add the rest of the cake mixture.
Bake on the middle shelf at gas 3 (170░C/325░F) for approximately 90 minutes – or until set and nicely browned.

Once the cake is cool, roll out half of the rest of the marzipan into a 7in (18cm) circle.
Spread Apricot jam (or you can use honey) on the top of the cake and place the marzipan circle on top of the cake and lightly press it down.

Beat the last egg and brush over the top of the cake.
Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 balls and place the balls around the top edge.
Place under a medium grill for 1 to 2 minutes to glaze.