Today I am going to share with you my Gluten Free Marmalade Simnel Cake recipe.
For me, it simply wouldn’t be Easter without Simnel Cake – a traditional cake made up of a lightly spiced fruit sponge with a hidden marzipan layer. It is topped with 11 marzipan balls which are said to represent the 11 apostles, minus Judas.
My recipe is a slight twist on the traditional Simnel Cake. I have added a little more liquid in order to create a moist sponge, as Gluten Free Flour requires more moisture than normal flour – Simnel cakes are usually slowly baked on a low temperature for a long time, so the extra moisture is necessary to prevent a dry cake.
I also used Orange Zest instead of Lemon zest and instead of apricot jam I brushed the cake in a generous layer of marmalade.
Simnel Cake would make a beautiful centrepiece for a special Easter Sunday meal, it is also easily prepared in advance and will comfortably feed a large family.
Orange and Marmalade Simnel Cake – GF/DF options
For the cake:
200g butter, softened (or dairy free butter/spread)
200g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
200g gluten free self raising flour, sifted
3 large eggs, whisked
500g sultanas, raisins, mixed peel
Zest 1 orange, plus 2 tbsp of juice
2 tbsp marmalade, gently warmed
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
300g Marzipan, for the centre
2 tbsp Marmalade
500g Marzipan, to decorate
1) Preheat the oven to 140 Degrees C/Gas Mark 1 and grease and line a loose-bottomed cake tin.
2) In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer or a wooden spoon.
3) In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients: sift together the flour, baking powder and spices, then fold through the fruit and the orange zest.
4) Add the eggs one at a time to the wet ingredients along with a tablespoon of dry ingredients to stop the mixture from splitting. Ensure each egg is fully combined before adding the next one.
5) Fold in all the remaining dry ingredients, then add the marmalade and orange juice and mix until fully combined.
6) Spoon half the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth out with a spatula.
7) Roll out 300g of marzipan into a circle large enough to fit the tin and place it on top of the cake mixture
8) Spoon the remaining mixture on top of the marzipan and smooth out with spatula.
9) Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour 40 – 50 minutes, until the cake is deep golden brown and firm to touch.
10) Leave the cake to cool in the tin slightly before turning it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
11) Once cake is cool, brush the top with a generous amount of marmalade which which will help the cake to stay moist.
12) Roll out 400g of Marzipan into a circle large enough to cover the top of the cake.
13) Place the marzipan on top of the cake and divide the remaining marzipan into 11 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into 11 balls and arrange them around the edge of the cake in a circle.
14) Place the cake under a grill high heat for a minute or so until the marzipan is golden brown – watch it like a hawk or the marzipan could burn!
15) Place the cake onto a serving plate and wrap it in a pretty ribbon.
You are now ready to proudly display your beautiful and entirely gluten free Easter centre piece for all the family to admire!
I love seeing your take on my bakes, so remember to share your a picture of your bakes over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.