It’s Easter so we are asking various friends and cooks to suggest recipes. This is from Colin Lindsay from Freuchie of Bread in Fife fame.

Simnel Cakes are traditionally made to eat at Easter. A distinctive characteristic of this spicy fruit cake is the marzipan layer baked into the middle of the cake. The 11 marzipan balls that decorate the top are said to represent the true disciples of Jesus.


300 g Ground Almonds
300 g Icing Sugar
2 Lemon (rind and juice)
150 g Butter
150 g Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
200 g Self Raising Flour
200 g Currants
100 g Mixed Glace Peel
½ teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Apricot Jam


Mix together the almonds, sugar, lemon rind and enough lemon juice and form into two balls of dough. Cover and set these aside.

Beat together the butter and the sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, followed by the nutmeg and cinnamon and flour.

Mix in the currants and peel.

Press half the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm/8” round deep sprinform tin.

Take one ball of the almond paste, roll or pat it into a 20cm/8” circle and place it on top of the cake mixture.

Spread the remaining cake mixture on top of the almond paste.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 1¾/2 hours.

Allow the cake to cool then run a knife around the cake edges and turn it out from its tin..

Brush the top of the cold cake with the apricot jam.

Take the second ball of almond paste and break off enough to make 11 marble sized pieces.

Roll out the remaining almond dough into a circle 20cm/8” round using the springform tin base as a guide.

Place the almond dough circle on top of the apricot jam.

Press the 11 balls onto the top of the cake, moistening the base of each slightly if the do not stick.

Temperature & cooking time:
160ºC/Fan 140º/300ºF/Gas Mk3 for 1¾/2 hours