Mary Berry simnel cake

simnel cake by merry berry

This traditional simnel cake from Mary Berry is a perfect celebratory Easter bake. It’s a mouthwatering combination of rich fruit cake and a marzipan topping.
Simnel Cake has become the traditional Easter cake, but originally it was given by servant girls to their mothers when they went home on Mothering Sunday. The almond-paste balls represent the eleven apostles (not including Judas).

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves 8 – 10


Mary Berry recipes
From The Great British Bake Off


  • 100g/4oz red or natural glacé cherries
  • 225g/8oz softened butter
  • 225g/8oz light muscovado sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 225g/8oz self-raising flour
  • 225g/8oz sultanas
  • 100g/4oz currants
  • 50g/2oz chopped candied peel
  • 2 lemons, zest only
  • 2 level tsp ground mixed spice

For the filling and topping

  • 450g/1lb golden marzipan
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten, to glaze

To decorate

  • 1 free-range egg white
  • organic primroses (or alternatively other edible spring flowers)
  • handful caster sugar