This Simnel cake recipe is a perfect quick-mix-fix for Easter - based on traditional recipes.
- 2 oranges, grated zest and juice
- 2 tbsp Cointreau
- 350g mixed dried fruits
- 100g whole glacé cherries
- 250g pack marzipan
- 200g soft butter, diced
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 350g self-raising flour
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
For the caramel almonds
How to make Simnel cake
- 50g blanched almonds
- 100g caster sugar
- For the icing sugar
- 125g icing sugar
- zest 1 orange
- 1-1½ tbsp orange juice
- Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.
- Tip the zest and juice into a bowl.
- Add the Cointreau, mixed fruit and cherries.
- Grease and line the base and sides of a 2kg or two 1kg loaf tins with baking parchment.
- Shape the marzipan into a sausage the length of the tin, then roll out to the width with a rolling pin.
- Put the butter, sugar, flour and eggs and milk in a bowl and beat with an electric hand-whisk until smooth.
- Stir in the mixed fruit and their juices.
- Spoon half the mixture into the loaf tin, then cover with the layer of marzipan.
- Top with the rest of the cake mixture and smooth the top.
- Bake for 1 hr 50 mins until risen and firm to the touch. (Take care if you are checking by piercing with a skewer as you may pierce the marzipan and think that the cake is not cooked yet.)
- Cool in tin, peel away the paper once cold. It will keep wrapped in foil for 2 weeks.
To make the caramel almonds
- Ttip the almonds into a frying pan and heat, swirling the pan so the almonds toast.
- Tip from the pan then add the sugar to the pan and heat until the sugar turns to a liquid caramel – take care not to heat it too fast or it will burn.
- Add the almonds, then pour onto a greased baking sheet to set.
- Will keep in a cool place for 2 days.
- Decorate the cake on the day you eat it, as the caramel will dissolve on contact with the cake.
- Mix the icing sugar with the orange zest and juice until smooth, then pour over the cake.
- The mix is quite wet and will dribble down the sides.
- Chop the almond caramel, scatter over the icing and leave until the icing sets.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2005