EASTER SIMNEL CAKE
This beautiful cake is an instant Easter crowd-pleaser, and is sure to make an impression on your family and friends at this time of year! Recipe taken from Modern Baker: A New Way to Bake by Melissa Sharp and Lindsay Stark (£26, Ebury Press) Photography: Laura Edwards
Ingredients:175g unsalted butter
175g coconut sugar
3 free-range eggs
175g spelt flour
90g dried cranberries
30g dried goji berries
zest of 1 lemon, grated
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of salt TO DECORATE:
raw marzipan (see below)
honey or melted butter, for brushing
edible flowers, such as nasturtiums and violets FOR THE RAW MARZIPAN:
340g ground almonds
3-4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 drops of almond extract (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line a 20cm round, deep, loose-bottom cake tin with baking parchment.
- Put all the ingredients into a large bowl. With an electric whisk, beat them together until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 1 ½-2 hours until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
- Make the marzipan. Mix all the marzipan ingredients together to form a dough. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill until ready to use.
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment to a thickness of 2-3mm. You don’t want to use flour to stop it sticking to the surface, and the paper will also make it easier to pick up.
- Once it’s cool, use the cake tin as a template to cut out a round disc of raw marzipan.
- Brush a little melted butter or honey over the top of the cake and lay the marzipan disc on top.
- Use the remaining marzipan to make 11 equal-sized balls to decorate the top of the cake. You can use honey to stick these on as well.
- Top the cake with edible flowers such as nasturtiums and violets.