Traditionally made for Mothering Sunday with its origins dating in the middle ages. During the 18th Century girls would bake a Simnel cake as a gift for their mothers to be eaten several weeks later on Easter Sunday. It was seen as a test for the girls to prove their cooking abilities to the family!

Try your hand and keep the tradition going with our Simnel cake recipe:



  • 500g sultanas
  • 100g glace cherries finely chopped
  • 175g soft unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp Amaretto [optional]


  • 175g caster sugar
  • 280g icing sugar
  • 450g ground almonds
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Amaretto [optional]

Icing sugar for rolling

  • 2 tbsp apricot jam, melted
  • 1 egg white [optional]


Remove all ingredients from the fridge and leave to reach room temperature.

Preheat oven to gas mark 3/170C

Grease and line the bottom and sides of a 20cm spring form cake tin with a double layer of brown baking paper


Step 1– mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl add two eggs and mix with a knife until combined

Step 2 – lightly dust work surface with icing sugar and tip out mixture, knead until mixture comes together adding more icing sugar if required.

Step 3 – Shape into a ball and wrap with Clingfilm, store in a cool place until required.


Step 1 – Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and soft, add the lemon zest.

Step 2 – Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, ground almonds, sultanas and glace cherries into a separate bowl and stir well to combine.

Step 3 – Add the three eggs to butter and sugar mix one at a time beating well.

Step 4 – Gradually fold in dry ingredients and then add milk.

Step 5 – Roll out about 400g of the marzipan, cut into a circle of 23cm to fit in the centre of the cake

Step 6 – Spoon half the mixture into the cake tin smoothing with a spatula, place the marzipan circle on top, spoon the remaining mixture on top and smooth again.

Step 7 – Bake for 30mins then reduce temperature to Gas Mark 2/150C for a further 1 ½ hrs or until cake has risen and firm to touch.

Step 8 – Leave to cool completely in the tin

Step 9 – Roll out another 400g marzipan into a circle, coat the top of the cake in melted apricot jam and place marzipan on top.

Step 10 – Roll out 11 apostle balls from the remaining marzipan, approx.. 2.5cm in size. Beat egg white until slightly frothy no more use to stick on the apostles to the rim of the cake.

Step 11 – Coat the whole cake with the remaining egg white then blow-torch the marzipan until slightly scorched.

Step 12 – Serve and Enjoy!




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