Baking, Festive, recipes, Uncategorized

Simnel Cake

Simnel Cake



This recipe is ideal for a converted ElectricKit Aga –

Set your temperature in your roasting oven to 170 degrees (applies to 2 and 4 oven Aga Cookers). If you have a 3 oven Aga, use the baking oven


Simnel cake is a good excuse to eat rich fruit cake (if one were needed) and was traditionally baked ready for Mothering Sunday. It somehow turned into an Easter Cake, the benefit of fruit cake being it actually improves with keeping.  It needs to be moist, and preferably, contain a bit of booze!

Simnel cake must have marzipan, and be decorated with 11 marzipan balls around the top outer layer, to represent the 11 true apostles.


You will need:-

175g light brown sugar

175g softened butter

175g self-raising flour

1 level tsp. baking powder

3 large free range eggs

50g ground almonds

100g sultanas

100g moist, vacuum packed pitted prunes

100g mixed peel

Grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon

2 teaspoons mixed spice

1-2 tablespoons of whiskey

Add a splash of milk, for moisture


600g marzipan

2 tablespoons apricot jam




First, cream together the butter and sugar then add all of the ingredients (apart from the marzipan and jam) and mix together.

Secondly, line a 20cm tin with Bake-O-Glide or grease proof paper and spoon half the mixture into the tin.  Following on roll out 240g marzipan into a circle and place on top of the cake mixture.  Add the remaining cake mix to the tin, and reserve the rest of the marzipan to decorate the top of the cake.


Bake time is 1 hour 30 minutes but check your cake when you can!

For ElectricKit Aga cookers, turn your digital temperature to 170 degrees.  Place your cold plain shelf below your cake, just off the floor of the roasting oven to slow down the heat coming from the base of your roasting oven (where the heat element is located)  This applies to 2 or 4 oven converted Aga cookers.  Check your cake after 30 mins and if it is cooking too quickly, turn down your temperature to 150 degrees

Non converted Aga cookers, i.e. 2,3,4, ovens – oil, gas or 13 amp electric, use the AGA Cake Baker to ensure a perfectly cooked Simnel Cake.  Use the Aga roasting oven with the grid shelf on the bottom and cook for 1 ½ hours. If you don’t have a cake baker place your cake tin inside your deepest roasting tin and place this on the grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven with the cold plain shelf above. Remove and cool the cold plain shelf every ½ hour or swap it over if you have two.

Otherwise if you have a baking oven in your Aga use that (you lucky thing!)

For a conventional oven cook at 170 degrees for 1 ½ – 2 hours, checking every 10 mins after the first 1/2 an hour.

When the cake has cooled, brush the top with some warmed apricot jam.  Roll out the remaining marzipan, reserving enough to make 11 evenly sized balls, and place these on top of the layer of marzipan, pressing down slightly to fix in place.

(Q: Who else peels the marzipan off to enjoy separately?)




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