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Easter Simnel Cake

Traditionally served at Easter, Simnel cake is a moist, heavy fruitcake divided and topped with almond icing.

Easter Simnel Cake

Simnel cake is a moist, heavy fruitcake divided and topped with almond icing. Traditionally served at Easter, it is a lovely treat for any Sunday afternoon.

Makes 20cm round cake

650g purchased marzipan

250g unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs

1¾ cups self-raising flour

1 cup plain flour

2 tsp mixed spice

½ cup sweet sherry

2 cups currants

1½ cups sultanas

½ cup glacé cherries, halved

2 tbsp apricot jam

2 tbsp icing sugar

1 Preheat oven to 160C. Lightly grease 
and line a 20cm deep round cake pan with a double layer of baking paper.

Roll out 300g of the marzipan between 2 sheets of baking paper. Using 
a dinner plate as a guide, cut out a 20cm round. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Repeat with 250g of the marzipan.

2 Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Transfer to a large bowl. Sift flours and mixed spice into butter mixture. Add sherry, currants, sultanas and cherries. Stir until well combined.

3 Spoon half the cake mixture into 
the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a wet spoon. Gently place the thinner round of marzipan over the cake. Spoon the remaining cake mixture over the marzipan, smoothing the top. Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Put apricot jam in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until warm. Brush jam over cake.

4 Put the remaining round of marzipan on top of the cake. Roll remaining marzipan into 11 small balls. Arrange balls on top around edge of cake. Heat 
a grill on medium and put the cake 
under the grill for 2 minutes or until 
the marzipan is light golden. Cool. 
Dust with icing sugar and serve.

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