24 Mar 2016

Simnel Squares

No Comments Baking and Bars / Traybakes

After last years success with Simnel cake, I wanted to try something the same but different for Easter this year. Last year’s simnel cake had a biscuit/pie crust on the bottom and cake on top (with marzipan of course), but this version is more like a cake with streusel on top. Considering fruit cakes are usual heavy, this is a pretty dense cake – not too dense but not like an airy sponge cake.

I used a mix of raisins, dried apricots and cherries soaked in rum and spices overnight, but you can mix up the ratio if you prefer one fruit over another – just keep the total weight roughly the same.

Simnel Squares
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 big squares
Soak Overnight
  • 2 tbsp orange juice (2 oranges worth)
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 190g dried mixed fruit
  • 75g dried apricots
  • 60g glace/morello cherries
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 150g butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g plain flour
  • 45g ground almonds
  • 200g marzipan
  • 35g butter
  • 35g light brown sugar
  • 75g plain flour
  • 75g flaked almonds
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 175g marzipan
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp orange juice
  1. Soak the fruit in orange juice and rum overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F, grease a 20cm x 30cm baking pan (the recipe makes enough to fill it).
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs.
  5. Mix the flour, ground almonds and spices in a small bowl, then add to the butter/sugar.
  6. Roughly chop the marzipan and stir into the batter.
  7. Pour into the tin and bake for 30 mins.
  8. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 190C/380F.
  1. Pulse the butter, sugar and flour in a food processor to resemble breadcrumbs.
  2. Roughly chop half of the marzipan and stir in with the golden syrup and flaked almonds.
  3. Sprinkle over the cake and bake for another 10-15 mins.
  4. Roll the remaining marzipan into balls and press lightly into the top of the cake.
  1. Mix the icing sugar with enough orange juice to form a runny icing, then pour over the cake.

Layers of cake

Bake the bottom layer first, then the top

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