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Simnel Cake

Serves 12
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 1 ½ hours

Simnel cake is a light fruit cake with layers of almond paste or marzipan, traditionally served at Easter.



  • 2 1/3 cups (360g) icing sugar mixture
  • 1 cup (110g) almond meal
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 100g softened butter
  • ½ cup (110g) brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (95g) Nestlé Dark CHOC BITS
  • ½ cup (95g) Nestlé Milk CHOC BITS
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 450g dried mixed fruit
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
View the method
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan forced). Grease and line a 17cm round (base measurement) cake pan with baking paper.
  2. Place icing sugar, almond meal, brandy, 1 egg yolk and lemon juice in a bowl and stir until mixture just comes together. 
  3. Turn on to a clean surface and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap. Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and golden syrup in a bowl until pale and creamy. 
  5. Add egg and remaining egg yolk, and beat until just combined. Add flour, Nestlé Dark CHOC BITS, Nestlé Milk CHOC BITS and mixed spice; stir to combine. Stir in mixed fruit.
  6. Spoon half the fruit mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out one-third of almond mixture into a 17cm disc. Place disc on top of fruit mixture in pan. 
  7. Spoon remaining fruit mixture over almond disc and smooth surface. 
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 150°C (or 130°C fan forced); bake for a further 1 ½ hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in pan to cool completely.
  9. Turn cake on to a clean surface. Heat jam in a small saucepan over low heat until melted. Strain through a fine sieve. Brush top of cake with warm jam. 
  10. Divide remaining almond mixture into 2 equal portions. Using a rolling pin to roll out 1 portion into a 17cm disc. Place on top of cake and use the palm of your hand to smooth. 
  11. Roll remaining almond mixture into 11 balls. Arrange on top of cake.
  12. Preheat grill on high. Place cake under grill for 1-2 minutes or until caramelised. Place on a plate and decorate with ribbon.
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