Simnel Cake



6oz Caster Sugar

1Lb Mixed Dried Fruits

5oz Sultanas

5 Tablespoons Cointreau

6oz butter (unsalted)

4 pieces stem ginger plus 1 tablespoon of the syrup form the jar

3 Large Eggs

8oz plain flour

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp mixed spice

1Lb Marzipan


Dice (or grate) the ginger into very small pieces.


Place the fruits and ginger (but not the ginger syrup) into a bowl, pour over the Cointreau, stir, cover and let stand overnight


Grease and line a 7” cake tin (or 6” if square).


Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 2


Divide the marzipan into three pieces: one piece of 4oz in weight and 2 pieces of 6oz in weight.

Put the 4oz piece in a covered dish and set aside. Rollout the 6oz pieces into 7” circles (or 6” squares if using a square tin). Place one of these to one side in a covered dish.


Sift together the four and spices


Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.


Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour if the mixture starts to curdle.


Stir in the fruits.


Fold in the flour and spice mixture.


Spoon half the mixture into the tin and level with the back of a spoon.


Place one of the circles (or squares) of Marzipan over the mixture and then add the remaining mixture.


Level the top with the back of a spoon.


Bake just above the centre of the oven for 2¼ hours and then test with a skewer. If the skewer doesn’t come out clean bake for a further ¼ hour, covering with greasproof paper if the top is starting to burn.


When cooked cool slightly and then press the second circle (or square) of marzipan on top whilst still warm.


Leave to cool completely.


Roll the final 4oz of marzipan into 11 balls and stick each to the top of the cake using the reserved tablespoonful of Ginger syrup.


Place the cake under a pre-heated hot grill for a minute or less (watch closely and turn if necessary) until the balls of marzipan start to brown and bubble.

(Cuts into 16 slices, and as this is quite a deep cake they are not as small as you might think!)