Easy Simnel cake with a berry twist is perfect for Easter – recipe

Simnel cake is both a rich, sweet treat and a symbolic tradition. The fruit cake is typically topped with eleven marzipan balls to represent the eleven apostles of Christ, minus Judas, making it an Easter classic. And for those looking to dodge chocolate overload with a fruit dessert, the experts at Love Fresh Berries have the perfect recipe.

This raspberry Simnel cake is the perfect treat to celebrate the eating of sugar again following the end of Lent.

And the Love Fresh Berries team’s unique recipe has a fruity “twist”, making it even “lighter and fresher” than most.

The following recipe serves 10 people and takes just two hours from fridge to table.

Also suitable for vegetarians, home cooks need just 30 minutes to prepare the mixture and an hour and a half spare to allow the cake to bake.


  • 500g ready-made marzipan
  • 150g raspberries, plus 11 for the top (roughly 50g)
  • 200g self-raising flour, plus one tablespoon
  • 175 butter
  • 175 caster sugar
  • Three medium eggs, plus one beaten yolk
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 150g sultanas
  • One egg white, lightly beaten to loosen

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Start by lining a 20cm, loose-bottomed baking tin with parchment paper.

Next, roll out one-third of the marzipan to a 20 cm circle – you can use the base of the tin to cut round. 

Wrap the remainder and any offcuts and set aside. Now, move on to preheating the oven to 170C, or 150C for a fan appliance.

In a bowl, toss 150g raspberries in the extra tablespoon of flour and set aside.  

Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then gradually whisk in the eggs (three whole and one yolk.

The Love Fresh Berries team said: “If the mixture begins to curdle add an extra tablespoon of flour and mix in.”

Next, sift the flour over the mix and fold in gently until smooth before folding in the ground almonds, sultanas, and floured raspberries.

Once combined, scrape half the cake mixture into the tin and carefully lay the marzipan round on top.

Add the remaining mixture then level the top. Bake in the oven for between one hour and 15 minutes to one hour and a half.

Once cooked, the cake should appear golden and a skewer inserted in the middle will come out clean.  After removing it from the oven, cool the Simnel cake in the tin for 15 minutes and then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Roll out the remaining marzipan into a circle and sit it on top of the cooled cake. Shape 11 balls from the leftover amount and arrange them in a circle on top. 

Shape 11 balls from the leftover amount and arrange them in a circle on top. Preheat the grill to medium. Brush all over with the egg white and then place under the grill or use a blow torch to brown gently. Remove from the grill, leave to cool and then decorate with the fresh raspberries.

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