Odlum’s Easter Simnel Cake

Cook Time, 3½-4 hours

What you need:

  • 225g/8oz Odlums Strong White Flour
  • 175g/6oz Butter (room temperature)
  • 175g/6oz Shamrock Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 225g/8oz Shamrock Raisins
  • 225g/8oz Shamrock Sultanas
  • 75g/3oz Shamrock Cherries
  • 75g/3oz Shamrock Mixed Peel
  • 4 Eggs, beaten
  • 50g/2oz Shamrock Chopped Almonds
  • 50g/2oz Shamrock Ground Almonds
  • Rind of 1 Orange
  • 2 tablespoons Whiskey
  • ½ teaspoon Goodall’s Mixed Spice
  • ½ teaspoon Goodall’s Nutmeg
  • Almond Paste

Almond Paste

  • 450g/1lb Shamrock Ground Almonds
  • 225g/8oz Shamrock Golden Caster Sugar
  • 225g/8oz Icing Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 drops Goodall’s Almond Essence
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry or Rum

To Decorate

  • Apricot Jam

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1. Line a 20cm/8″ round deep cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Sieve the flour, mixed spice and nutmeg together.
  3. Place all remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed. This takes about 5 minutes.
  4. Place half the mixture into the prepared tin.
  5. Roll out ⅓ of the almond paste and place onto cake mixture. Cover with remaining cake mixture.
  6. Bake for 3½-4 hours. Cover with greaseproof paper if getting too dark on top. Check at intervals after 2½ hours. Once baked, leave cake in tin to cool.

Almond Paste

  1. Mix dry ingredients together. Mix liquid ingredients together.
  2. Add enough wet mixture to dry mixture to make a firm paste. Knead well to make a smooth paste.
  • Note: If you don’t want to make almond paste simply use 3 x 250g packs Shamrock Marzipan.

To Decorate

  1. Spread apricot jam on top of cake. Shape a further ⅓ of the almond paste to form a 20cm/ 8″ round and place on top.
  2. Shape remaining almond paste into 11 balls and arrange around top.
  3. Place under preheated grill for a minute or so to lightly toast.


  • Strong white flour gives a flat top on the cake, but Odlums Cream Plain Flour can also be used
  • Simnel Cake is traditionally eaten on Easter Sunday. Traditionally female servants would bake this fruit cake using all the ingredients that had to be used up before the fast and abstinence of Lent. They would give the cake to their mothers when when visiting on Mothering Sunday.
  • The Simnel Cake is a symbolic Easter cake decorated with eleven marzipan balls around the cake to represent the 11 disciples. Though there were 12 disciples, Judas Iscariot is omitted as he betrayed. Some people just put a large ball in the centre of the cake to signify Jesus.



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