Light, fruity and covered in two layers of marzipan, this traditional Easter indulgence is the perfect way to welcome the bank holiday weekend. Don't forget to toast it under a hot grill for the final finishing touch...
Easter Simnel Cake
175g (6oz) butter or margarine
175g (6oz) soft brown sugar
4 medium eggs – beaten
175g (6oz) plain flour
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon of ground mixed spice
350g (120z) mixed raisins, currants and sultanas
55g (2oz) chopped mixed peel
½ lemon – zest only
175g Renshaw Natural Marzipan
500g Renshaw Natural Marzipan
1-2 tablespoons of apricot jam
Preheat oven to 140 C/275 F/ gas mark 1.
Grease and then line an 18cm round tin with baking parchment. Cream the butter and soft brown sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Gradually beat in three of the medium eggs until well mixed and then sift in the plain flour, salt and mixed spice a bit at a time.
Finally, add the mixed dried fruit, peel and grated lemon zest into the mixture.
Put half the cake mixture into the tin and smooth to create a flat surface.
Knead the Renshaw Natural Marzipan until soft and pliable and roll out on a surface dusted with icing sugar. Make a circle which matches the size of your baking tin and cover the cake mixture in the baking tin.
Add the rest of the cake mixture to the tin and again smooth the top to create a flat surface, leaving a slight dip in the centre to allow for the cake to rise.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 ¾ hours. Test if the cake is ready by inserting a skewer in the middle. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled, remove from the tin and brush the top of the cake with a thin layer of apricot jam.
Knead the remaining Renshaw Natural Marzipan until soft and pliable and roll out on a surface dusted with icing sugar. Again roll out a circle big enough to cover the top of your cake.
Place on top of the cake and mark diagonally crossing lines to decorate.
With the remaining marzipan, decorate the edge of the top of the cake with 11 balls of marzipan and brush the entire top with a little beaten egg.
Pre-heat a grill to high. Place the cake onto a baking tray and grill for 1 to 2 minutes, keeping careful watch on the cake to make sure it doesn't burn.
For more recipes, quality ingredients and expert advice visit the Renshaw Baking website here.
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