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Cakes and Desserts
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Easter Simnel Cake

Easter Simnel Cake is a classic cake for Easter. It is a light fruit cake but with a layer of marzipan in the middle and a layer of toasted marzipan on top and 11 balls of marzipan which represent the apostles of Christ minus Judas. I like to include Judas and add the 12 balls.

Easter simnel cake recipe


Cooking time: 2 ½ – 3 hours

What you’ll need

One 8” deep cake tin or 2 x 6″ tins, double lined with greaseproof paper

Ingredients – Easter Simnel Cake

  • 6 oz butter (soft)
  • 6 oz soft dark brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 8oz plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 8 oz sultanas
  • 8 oz currants
  • 2 oz glace cherries, washed, dried and roughly chopped
  • 2 oz candied peel, finely chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons full fat milk
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 450g pack of marzipan


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  3. In a small bowl beat the eggs together and then add slowly to the mixture a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. If the mixture looks like it is going to curdle you can add a spoonful of flour.
  5. When all of the egg has been added sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in using a metal spoon.
  6. Then add the dried fruits, orange and lemon zest and mixed spice and fold in lightly. If the mixture seems very heavy you can add some / all of the milk to lighten it.
  7. Spoon half of the mixture into the tin and then using one third of the marzipan roll out a circle of marzipan to fit and place on top of the cake mix.
  8. Spoon the remaining cake mixture on top.
  9. Level off and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 ½ – 3 hours or until the centre feels firm and the cake is golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool and then roll out half of the remaining marzipan in a circle to fit the top.
  11. Brush the surface of the cake with a little warm apricot jam and place the marzipan on top, trim the edges if need be.
  12. Brush with a little beaten egg yolk and place under a hot grill until just beginning to turn golden. You must watch it at this point as it will burn very quickly.
  13. Roll the remaining marzipan into 12 little balls (to represent the apostles) and stick on top using a little of the jam.
  14. Brush the tops with a little of the egg wash and place under the grill again until coloured a little. Add a little circle of foil in the middle to prevent the marzipan burning.
  15. Please note the marzipan can burn very quickly. Don’t be tempted to leave it.


This Simnel Cake will keep for ages in an airtight container.

Be careful when toasting the marzipan balls as they can burn very easily. Don’t leave the grill while doing so.

You can find lots more Easter baking inspiration on my Recipes page.



Mary Ann was a joy to watch in the kitchen as she demonstrated another tasty Lemon and Raspberry layer cake complete with Swiss Meringue icing, it was beautiful and one I think I might even attempt myself.

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