Easter without a lovely Simnel cake is not quite the same, but making the same recipe over and over again could become quite tedious. So why not change things up with our mini eggs simnel cake? Traditionally decorated with 11 balls of marzipan to represent the Apostles, this chocolate and marzipan Easter simnel cake uses chocolate mini eggs instead, so it’s ideal for any chocolate lovers you might have in the family. This special Simnel cake takes around 2h and 10 mins to make, but it’s well worth the wait. This recipes makes one large cake, enough to feed a big party if you’re having friends or family members round on Easter Sunday. To make this lovely Easter bake look even nicer for your guests, you can put a ribbon around your cake – and don’t forget to decorate it with lots of mini eggs!
- For this Easter recipe
- you will need:
- 230g plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- A good pinch of salt
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g soft light brown muscovado sugar
- 4 large free-range eggs, beaten to mix
- 50g ground almonds
- 350g mixed dried fruit
- 100g glacé cherries, rinsed, dried and halved
- 100g bar dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2tbsp milk
- 450g white marzipan
- A little apricot jam or sherry for brushing
- To decorate:
- Mini Easter eggs
- A ribbon
- 20.5cm (8") round, deep cake tin or springform, greased and lined
Heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Sift the flour, baking powder and salt on to a sheet of greaseproof paper and set aside until needed.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; you can use a wooden spoon or an electric whisk or mixer. Gradually beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition and adding the ground almonds with the last egg. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the flour followed by the dried fruit, cherries, chocolate and milk. When thoroughly combined, spoon half of the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly.
Roll-out one third of the marzipan to a circle slightly smaller than the tin. Set in on top of the cake the cover with the rest of the cake mixture. Spread it evenly then make a slight hollow in the centre so the cake rises evenly.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 mins then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C (gas mark 3) and bake for a further 1 hr-1h 10 mins or until a skewer inserted in to the centre of the cake, just down to the marzipan layer, comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack then remove from the tin and discard the lining paper.
Roll out two-thirds of the remaining marzipan to a circle to fit the top of the cake. Brush the top of the cake with a little warm apricot jam or sherry and set the marzipan disc on top. Shape the rest of the marzipan into 11 balls and arrange around the edge. Fill the centre with miniature Easter eggs and finish with a ribbon around the cake.