Simnel Cake for Mothering Sunday (Freezes well)

though traditionally round, simnel cakes can be made in square/rectangle pans with larger recipes like this, which are good for feeding the masses and easier to cut and serve. For a smaller 8 or 9 round cake, use half the quantity


1 cups butter (block margarine can be used not soft)
4 cups sugar
8 eggs
4 cups flour

tsp of each spice (allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger etc)
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup grated lemon and orange peel (or mixed candied peel/cherry)
2 cups currants
8 oz (or more) almond paste (marzipan) *

Cream butter and sugar until smooth.

Add eggs singly, beating after each one.

Sift and add flour, spice and salt.

Dust peel and currants with flour, add to batter.

Line 12" x 15" greased pan with wax paper (or parchment paper)

Pour in half of batter

roll and add thin layer (1/2) of almond paste
put remaining batter in pan


Bake at 300 degrees for one hour.

add remaining almond paste for final 10 mins

final layer can be rolled thinly or made into 12 small balls to represent the 12 apostles

Cool before cutting



* almond paste icing marzipan

almond paste available in tubes at Loblaws, Kardish, Bulk Barn or specialty cake shops


150 g (5 oz) icing sugar

150 g (5 oz) caster sugar

300 g (10 oz) ground almonds

1 medium egg or 2 egg yolks

15 ml spoon (1 tbsp) lemon juice

2.5 ml spoon ( tsp) almond essence

Sieve sugars into a bowl, add ground almonds, mix well

Beat egg in a basin. Add lemon juice and flavouring. Pour onto dry ingredients and mix to a pliable paste

If the paste is sticky, work in a little more sugar; if too stiff, work in a little more lemon juice

Avoid handling paste more then necessary or the warmth of your hands will draw the oil out of the almonds, making the paste very difficult to roll.

final layer of marzipan can be 12 balls to represent the 12 apostles