BakingBirthdayEasterRecipesShane Smith

Easter Simnel Cake

1 h 30 mins Cook
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Classics are so-called for a reason and Simnel cake has stood the test of time due to its gorgeous flavour combination. Juicy tea-soaked Gem fruits mixed through a lightly spiced cake mix, layered and topped with a tasty almond paste, what’s not to love? One of the best things about this recipe is that the cake can be made up to two weeks in advance and you can decorate it a few days before you plan on serving it.

Thanks to the amazing Shane Smith for this lovely Easter recipe. Click here for more Gem inspirations!

Easter Simnel Cake

Easter Simnel Cake

prep time
25 mins (2 hours to soak fruit)
cooking time
1 h 30 mins


  • medium bowl

  • 20cm loose bottom cake tin

  • bowl of a stand mixer

  • sieve



Soak the mixed fruit and glace cherries in whiskey for a minimum of two hours.
Line, grease and flour a 20cm loose bottom cake tin.
Take a third of the marzipan, roll out a 20cm circle and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 170C/150C fan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until soft and creamy.
Gradually add the eggs, mixing between each addition.
Add in the golden syrup and mix through.
To this, add the orange zest, ground almonds, sieved flour, baking powder, mixed spice and mix.
Add in the pre-soaked fruit including any excess liquid and fold through.
Spoon half this cake mix into the prepared tin and using the back of a spoon, flatten out.
Place the disc on marzipan on top and spoon on the remaining cake mix.
Pop this into the preheated oven and bake for 90 minutes. After the 60 minutes mark, I like to place a tin foil disc on top of the cake to ensure it doesn't burn, cook for a further 30 mins or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Once baked, remove and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
To decorate the cake, if you have neutral marzipan, I like to colour it with a touch of yellow food colouring, this is optional.
Divide the remaining marzipan in two. The first half can be rolled into a 20cm disc and the remaining half can be rolled into 11 balls.
Brush the cooled cake with apricot jam and place the marzipan disc on top, you can crimp the edges for added effect and finish by arranging the 11 balls around the top of the cake.


You can finish by trimming the cake with a red ribbon.

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