Daniel Adams’ Simnel Cake

Daniel Adams Simnel cake encapsulates Easter. The eleven balls of marzipan on top of the cake traditionally represent the apostles of Christ, minus Judas. If you’re a lover of marzipan, then look no further!

Prep Time - 90 Cook Time - 120 Serves 11


200g mixed dried fruit
150g glace cherries, chopped
2 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 unwaxed orange, juiced and zested
1 unwaxed lemon, juiced and zested
250g unsalted butter, softens
190g soft light brown sugar
1 Clarence Court Goose egg
1 Clarence Court Burford Brown egg
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
50g chopped hazelnuts
1kg white marzipan
50g apricot jam
Chocolate mini eggs



Place the dried fruit, glace cherries, almond extract, vanilla essence, orange and lemon zest and juice together in a mixing bowl. Leave the liquids to be absorbed by the fruits. Ideally overnight, but with a minimum of one hour.

Line a 9inch cake tin with butter followed by baking parchment. Set aside for later.

Preheat oven to 150C/130C Fan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar then add both the eggs and the dried fruit mix from earlier. Add the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, cinnamon, ground ginger and the hazelnuts. Mix the ingredients together until you have a thick cake batter.

Now place half of the mixture into your pre-lined cake tin.

Dust the work surface with a little icing sugar and begin to roll out half of the marzipan to the thickness of a pound coin, keeping it roughly circular. Using a plate, that is the same size as your tin, cut a disc out of the marzipan. Carefully pick the marzipan disc up and place it on top of your cake mix.

Add the rest of the cake mixture and smooth the top leaving a slight dip in the centre to allow for the cake to rise. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into its middle.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.

Brush the top of the cooled cake with the apricot jam (this will act as the glue for the marzipan). Now roll out another marzipan circle to go on top of the cake. Use approx. half of the remaining marzipan to make 11 marzipan balls. Using both of the palms of your hands, work them together with the marzipan to form a ball.

Use a little apricot jam underneath each ball to stick them around the edge of the cake, aiming to be a symmetrical as possible.

For further effect, turn your grill to the hottest setting and place the cake underneath for around 1-2 minutes. This will cause the marzipan to blister and give it a golden-brown glow.

Finally top with the chocolate eggs and if you want the cake to glisten, brush some jam around the cake. Now tuck in and enjoy!

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