Cakes, biscuits & tarts, Dessert

  • 2 April, 2021

Fruitcake should not only be reserved for Christmas! Simnel cake is a lighter fruitcake and is traditionally enjoyed at Easter and one of the delicious bakes in our festive baking short course. 


120g Sultanas
120g Candied citrus peel
110g Dried cranberries
155g Unsalted butter, softened
150g Soft brown sugar
3 Large eggs
200g Self-raising flour
2 tsp ground Mixed spices
20g Stem ginger finely chopped
454g Marzipan
2 tbsp. Apricot jam


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  • Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm deep-sided round cake tin.
  • Combine the sultanas, candied citrus peel and dried cranberries together in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over the fruit to cover and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Strain the dried fruit through a sieve, pat dry on kitchen paper and leave to cool slightly.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a kitchen aid bowl with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. While the mixer is still on gradually add the eggs one at a time, adding 1 tablespoon of flour with each addition until well mixed.
  • Sieve the flour and mixed spices together.
  • Turn off the machine and using a large metal spoon fold the flour and mixed spice into the cake batter. Add the soaked fruits and finely chopped ginger and thoroughly combine.
  • Roll a third of the marzipan into a circle the same size as the tin between two sheets of baking paper.
  • Spoon half the cake mixture into the prepared tin, spread level and lay the marzipan disk on top. Cover with the rest of the cake mixture and spread level with the back of the spoon or an offset palette knife.
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour then turn the oven temperature down to 150°C and bake for a further 50 minutes until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Cover the cake loosely with foil if it appears to be browning quickly.
  • Remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Heat the apricot jam in a small pan then pass through a sieve to remove any lumps. Turn the cake so the top is facing up and brush with the jam.
  • Divide the remaining two-thirds of the marzipan into two equal parts. Roll one half out into a circle the same size as the top of the cake then roll the other half into 11 round balls. Place the marzipan circle on top of the cake and with a knife gently score diamonds into the surface then top with the marzipan balls.
  • Preheat the grill to medium high heat and place the cake underneath for 1-2 minutes until it turns lightly golden.
  • Decorate with candied ginger and candied flowers.

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