Simnel loaf cake served on a plate

Simnel loaf cake

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 40 mins - 1 hr


Serves 8

Celebrate Easter with our stunning simnel loaf cake. Hidden marzipan along with a toasted marzipan and cherry decoration makes this a showstopper dessert

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal447
  • fat20g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs59g
  • sugars45g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 125g mixed dried fruit (a mixture of sultanas, currants, raisins and candied mixed peel)
  • ½ small orange, zested and juiced



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

  • vegetable or sunflower oil, for the tin
  • 125g marzipan
    Marzipan cake



    One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…

  • 125g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 100g light brown soft sugar
  • 2 eggs



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

  • 90g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g glacé cherries, halved, plus 6-8 left whole, to serve
  • 100g icing sugar


  1. Put the mixed dried fruit in a bowl with the orange juice and zest and 1 tbsp water. Cover and microwave for 2 mins, then leave to cool completely. Alternatively, heat gently in a pan, stirring now and then until the liquid has been absorbed and leave to cool.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and oil a 900g loaf tin before lining the base and sides with baking parchment. Roll out 50g of the marzipan into a sausage that is as long as the loaf tin. Wrap the remaining the marzipan and set aside for later. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder, lemon zest, mixed spice and vanilla (all in one go) and mix until well combined. Stir in the cooled, soaked dried fruit, then fold in the cherries.

  3. Pour the cake batter into the tin until it is halfway full. Lay the sausage of marzipan down the middle, then scrape in the remaining cake mixture, making sure the marzipan is covered. Bake for 40-50 mins. Check it’s cooked by inserting a skewer into the cake, if any wet mixture clings to the skewer, return to the oven for another 10 mins, then check again. Cool in the tin for 15 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

  4. Mix the icing sugar with the juice from the lemon and enough water (about 1 tbsp) to make a thick but pourable icing. Roll the remaining marzipan into 6-8 equal-sized balls, and caramelise, if you like (see tip below). Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake, letting it stream down the sides a little. Top with the marzipan balls, alternating each one with a cherry. Will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Nikki Golesworthy's picture
Nikki Golesworthy
26th Apr, 2019
delicious and easy to make for our Easter guests (although maybe I ate most of it.) Don't toast the marzipan balls for too long or you get flat balls, mine sort of melted!
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