Chocolate simnel cake


Here’s an Easter bake inspired by the traditional simnel cake. It’s a fruity chocolate cake with a layer of delicious homemade marzipan in the middle and a glossy ganache topping – perfect for some tea time indulging. Yes please!



Do have a quick read through the cook’s notes below before you start. The homemade marzipan is absolutely delicious and I would recommend making your own if you can, however store bought marzipan can be used instead.

For more Easter treat inspiration you can also check out these cheesecake swirl Easter brownies, Easter nest cupcakes and these easy krispie treats.



Cook’s notes:

  • when making your marzipan try to grind the almonds up as finely as possible. If the marzipan is a bit crumbly or dry simply add another dash of egg white or water to bring it together.
  • the marzipan disc doesn’t have to be perfect. If the marzipan breaks simply press it back together before placing it in the tin.
  • if you use a larger baking tin than the one in the recipe don’t forget to adjust the baking time.



For the marzipan:

  • 150g raw almonds
  • 75g icing sugar + extra for rolling
  • 7.5ml (1½ tsp) almond essence
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) egg white

For the cake:

  • 260g butter, softened
  • 300g brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 50ml plain yoghurt
  • 125ml (½ cup) milk
  • 330g plain flour
  • 10ml (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 20g cocoa
  • 200g cake mix (raisins, currants, citrus peel)

For the ganache:

  • 60ml (¼ cup) cream
  • 100g dark or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • chocolate easter eggs, to decorate

1.) To make the marzipan place the almonds in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add the icing sugar and process again until everything is well combined and as fine as possible. Add the almond essence and egg white, then process until the mixture comes together. Cover and set aside.

2.) Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Place a paper collar around the inside of the tin slightly higher than the height of the tin. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

3.) To make the cake batter cream the butter and brown sugar together for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Mix in the yoghurt and milk.

4.) Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and cocoa. Add the cake mix then fold everything together.

5.) Dust your work surface with a little icing sugar. Roll out marzipan and cut out a rough circle slightly smaller in diameter than the cake tin. Pour half of the cake batter into the tin, then gently place the marzipan disc on top. Cover with the remaining cake batter.

6.) Bake the cake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until baked through. Leave to cool completely.

7.) To make the ganache heat the cream just until boiling point and pour over the chocolate. Whisk together until smooth, then leave to cool slightly. Once cooled and thickened slightly spread over the cake. Decorate with chocolate eggs, then serve.

6 thoughts on “Chocolate simnel cake

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