Chocolate, orange & almond simnel cake

Chocolate, orange & almond simnel cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(17 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 50 mins

More effort

Cuts into 12 slices
A rich, indulgent Easter treat with orange frosting and homemade chocolate marzipan, great for those who don't like traditional fruit cake

Nutrition and extra info

  • Undecorated cake can be frozen

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1148
  • fat71g
  • saturates38g
  • carbs123g
  • sugars93g
  • fibre3g
  • protein12g
  • salt0.99g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.

Ingredients

  • 250g slightly salted butter, plus extra for greasing
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 100g orange-flavoured plain chocolate or 100g plain chocolate plus 2 tsp orange extract
  • 400g plain flour
  • 500g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 2 eggs
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 284ml tub buttermilk
  • zest and juice 1 orange
    Orange

    Orange

    or-ange

    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

For the marzipan

  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 100g icing sugar, plus extra to decorate
  • 200g ground almond
  • 50g cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 egg, plus 1 yolk, beaten
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

For the frosting

  • 2 x 250g/9oz tubs mascarpone
  • 250g butter, softened
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 250g icing sugar
  • zest 2 oranges plus 100ml juice
    Orange

    Orange

    or-ange

    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of two deep 23cm cake tins. Boil the kettle. Put the butter and chocolate in a small pan and gently heat, stirring, until completely melted. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt in your largest mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, orange zest and juice together in a jug. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, add 150ml boiling water and whizz briefly with an electric whisk until the cake batter is lump-free. Divide between the tins and bake for 45 mins – swapping the tins round after 30 mins if on different shelves. To test they’re done, push in a skewer and check that it comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins.

  2. Meanwhile, make the marzipan. Mix the sugars, ground almonds and cocoa in a bowl. Make a well in the middle, tip in the egg and egg yolk and mix together with a cutlery knife before kneading with your hands to a smooth ball. Wrap in cling film and set aside. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week if making ahead.

  3. Make the frosting: beat the mascarpone and butter together until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar, add the zest and juice, then beat again until combined.

  4. To assemble, split each cake in half horizontally. Dot a little frosting on your serving plate and sit one of the cake halves on top. You’ll use about half the frosting to sandwich the cakes together – spread the plated-up cake with some frosting, then repeat to sandwich the remaining cakes on top. Brush the top of the cake with a tiny bit more frosting.

  5. Roll out the marzipan, on a dusting of cocoa if you need, to a rough 27cm circle. Using your cake tin like a cookie cutter, stamp out a marzipan circle, then carefully lift this onto the top of your cake. Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 small balls and stick them on top, using a little more frosting or water like glue. Spread the remaining frosting round the outside of the cake, then dust the top with a little more cocoa and icing sugar.

You may also like

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Lindsay Mabon
11th Mar, 2017
hi i as going maakwe this cake and couldnt print it out
sllyst's picture
sllyst
20th Apr, 2013
2.05
I read all of the comments before making this cake but the cakes were too flimsy to be halved and I only added the zest to the frosting. The marzipan was tasteless and the frosting was bitter, overall a disappointment.
sonia84
8th Apr, 2012
1.05
Totally gutted. I really should have read these comments before I attempted this. Moderately easy?!!! Maybe if you're Delia Smith! I'm not an avid baker but thought I'd give this a go as it would be nice to take to the in laws for Easter lunch. I followed the recipe to the letter. I ended up with a sponge that completely crumbled, marzipan that could hold up ceiling tiles and an icing that resembles scrambled egg!! I've managed to save one of the cakes so will make a chocolate butter icing instead for that... I might write up the recipe and send it to Good Food. You clearly don't have to be too masterful to contribute a recipe!!
jannya
8th Apr, 2012
3.05
I wanted to make an Easter cake and don't like simnel cake so this looked great! The cakes themselves barely rose at all so I didn't cut them in half. I used a different marzipan recipe that didn't contain raw egg (http://jeenaskitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/marzipan-recipe.html, replacing a few tablespoons of almonds with cocoa powder). After hearing about everyone's frosting disasters I made buttercream instead (110g icing sugar, 50g butter and a few squeezes of orange juice was just enough to fill one layer). The result was delicious, but it took all afternoon, and I didn't really follow much of the recipe, but hey, that's what baking is about. :)
lynwarren
5th Apr, 2012
I was really looking forward to making this cake for the coming Easter weekend, but I am put off by all the comments saying how it doesn't work. It does annoy me that no one from Good Food seems to monitor these comments, surely, with so many negative comments they should be looking to change this recipe? I am giving it one star because I feel that I am not willing to risk the cost of all these expensive ingredients & so can't bake it.
hagaar
4th Apr, 2012
Was considering making this for Easter this year but after reading the reviews I am not prepared to waste expensive ingredients if the icing is going to split. I am really surprised this recipe has not been reviews by Good Food as there are a lot of complaints.
glenyst
13th Oct, 2011
You've got to be joking! 1148 kcalories, carbohydrate 123g, fat 71g!! Also, it sounds more difficult than "Moderately Easy". Won't rate because I won't be trying this. Does look pretty though.
jaclegg
24th Apr, 2011
4.05
I made this cake, as others the frosting split and the cake could not tbe taken to the easter party as I planned. I bought more mascarpone and had another go. This time it worked ( i only gently beat the ingredients together)and finished off the cake. It is rather delicous cake unfortunately there were only 4 people round the next day! Lots of cake still to eat.
faltskog
23rd Apr, 2011
1.05
Frosting was a disaster, it curdled and there was no saving it. Considering all the problems that people have had, maybe Good Food should remove this recipe and retest it before alot more disgruntled readers make it and waste so much money.
mkalogeropoulos
20th Feb, 2011
2.05
I made this cake for a friend's birthday as a surprise. It is true, the filling did separate even before adding the orange juice. I had to add some flour to gather the liquids! In the end it both looked and tasted great! An Italian friend said that the way she makes the tiramisu cream resembles this one; she melts the butter and then mixes it with the mascarpone. So it might work better if butter is melted rather than just softened at room temperature.

Pages

Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.