I adore rich fruit cake and I also adore marzipan, Christmas couldn’t come quick enough in my book to enjoy a slice of cake. So why I’ve never made a Simnel Cake before baffles me! On this occasion I’ve opted to use the quick and super easy Delicious Alchemy Fruit Cake Mix, I had a packet left over form Christmas and decided back then that this bake was going to be its final destination. If you have a little more time on your hands and a bigger number of tummies to fill then you can just as easily opt to make my own version of Rich Fruit Cake, but instead of using brandy use orange juice like I have here. Another super tip would be to soak your fruit overnight in orange juice, this will make the cake more moist and do away with the need to ‘feed’ the cake over several weeks.

Simnel Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 45 mins
Total Time
2 hr
Servings: 8
Author: Glutarama
  • 650 g packet of Delicious Alchemy Fruit Cake Mix
  • 110 g Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 75 ml Orange Juice
  • 700 g Marzipan
  • Apricot Jam or Shredless Marmalade to brush cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 3.
  2. Prepare your 7" cake tin by double lining with greaseproof paper, leave a circle of paper to top your cake before popping in the oven.
  3. Make the cake mixture as directed on the packet; add all ingredients into a bowl, I used orange juice but omitted the zest on this occasion.
  4. Pour half the mixture into the tin and set aside.
  5. Roll out 200g of the marzipan and using a saucer cut a circle just under 7" in diameter and approx 1cm thick.
  6. Place the marzipan circle on top of the fruit cake mixture and top with the remaining cake mixture.
  7. Smooth the top with the back of a wet spoon to get an even surface and top with the greaseproof circle, this is to prevent burning during the cooking process and also aids an even rise in the bake.
  8. Bake in the oven for 1hr 45mins, when cooked you will get a generous bounce to the touch.
  9. Set aside and cool in the tin for 10mins.
  10. Remove from the tin and cool completely before decorating.
To Decorate
  1. Cut the remaining marzipan block to allow for 11 balls to top the cake, a 7" circle and (if you wish) a rope effect edge.
  2. Once all your decorations have been made and the cake is completely cool, brush the top of the cake with jam and place the marzipan circle on top.
  3. Edge the cake with your rope decoration and top with the 11 balls.
  4. To achieve the caramelised effect you can either place your cake under the grill, keep a constant eye on the bake at all times (it can burn easily), alternatively, like me you can use a blow torch for a more precise finish...making sure you don't singe your eyebrows!
Recipe Notes
This cake can keep well in an airtight container for several days so can be made in advance - one more thing off your tick list!