About this recipe:Easter would not be the same without us getting together as a family to make this delightful Easter Simnel cake. Simnel cake is essentially a fruit cake however the wow factor is the marzipan topping and the 11 marzipan balls on top signifying the apostles, minus Judas. We cheat a little and use ready to roll marzipan.
200g butter or margarine
200g light brown sugar
225g self raising flour
110g glace cherries
3 tablespoons candied mixed peel
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1/2 orange
2 teaspoons mixed spice
450g golden marzipan
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:2hr › Ready in:2hr20min
Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas 2. Grease a deep loose bottomed 20cm cake tin and line with baking parchment.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy then add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Into a separate bowl, sift in the flour and add the fruit, mixed peel, orange and lemon zest and mixed spice. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together and stir until smooth. Place half of the cake mixture into the prepared tin.
Meanwhile, divide the marzipan into thirds then roll two thirds into rounds to fit the tin, set aside the final third. Place one of the rounds into the cake tin then spoon the remainder of the cake mixture on top. Smooth the top of the cake.
Bake in the preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until firm and risen. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
Once cooled, remove from the tin and discard the baking parchment. Transfer to a serving plate and lay the second round of almond paste on top of the cake and crimp the edges for decoration. Form the final third of the almond paste into 11 equal sized balls and place around the edge of the cake.
Place the cake under the grill for 1 to 2 minutes to lightly brown the marzipan. Remove from the grill, slice and serve.
You can also use a cook's blowtorch to brown the marzipan.