Easter Simnel Cake Recipe

Our McCarthy Stone chef’s recipe for traditional Easter Simnel cake makes a brilliant centrepiece for Easter Sunday.




• 250g mixed dried fruit (a mixture of sultanas, currants, raisins and candied mixed peel)
• 1 orange, zested and juiced
• 250g pack butter, softened
• 200g light brown soft sugar
• 4 eggs, plus 1 beaten to glaze
• 175g plain flour
• 100g ground almonds
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 lemon, zested
• 2 tsp mixed spice
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 100g glacé cherries, halved
• 150g Icing Sugar


1. Put the mixed dried fruit in a bowl with the orange juice and zest and two tbsp water. Cover and microwave for two mins, then leave to cool completely. Alternatively, heat gently in a pan, stirring now and then until the liquid has been absorbed and leave to cool.

2. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Butter and line the cake tin with a double layer of parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.

3. Add the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder, lemon zest, mixed spice and vanilla (all in one go) and mix until well combined. Mix in the cooled soaked dried fruit and fold in the cherries.

4. Scrape the cake mixture into the tin. Bake for 2 hrs. Check it’s cooked by inserting a skewer to the centre of the cake, if any wet mixture clings to the skewer, return to the oven for another 10 mins, then check again. Cool in the tin for 15 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

5. Dust the cake with icing sugar and decorate with ribbon if you like or Easter Eggs. The cake will keep for up to a week in a sealed tin.