Simple simnel cake

It’s Easter and irrespective of your religious perspective this is one tasty eater treat from the queen of baking Mary Berry


  • 175g light muscavado sugar
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 100g sultanas
  • 100g cherries, quartered, washed, and dried
  • 100g dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
  • 100g stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp ground ginger


To serve: 

  • 450g golden marzipan
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 egg, beaten



Preheat oven 160C/320F/Gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm/8in deep round cake tin with baking parchment. Measure all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat well until thoroughly blended. Place half the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Take one third of the marzipan and roll into a circle the same size as the cake tin, place the circle on top of the cake mixture. Spoon the remaining mixture on top of the marzipan and level the surface.

Bake for about one-and-three-quarter to two hours or until golden brown and firm in the middle. If toward the end of the cooking time the cake is getting too brown, loosely cover with a piece of foil. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning onto a cooling rack.

When the cake is cool. Brush the top with a little warmed apricot jam. Roll out half the remaining marzipan to the size of the cake and sit it on the top. Crimp the edges of the marzipan and make a lattice pattern in the centre of the marzipan using a sharp knife. Make 11 even-sized balls from the remaining marzipan and arrange around the edge.

Brush with beaten egg and glaze under a hot grill for about five minutes, turning the cake round so it browns evenly, so the marzipan is tinged brown all over. (You can do this with a blow torch if you prefer.)