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Dairy-free simnel cake

A traditional Easter treat
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, easter, marzipan
Servings: 8


  • 175 g vegan margarine
  • 180 g light brown sugar
  • 180 g self raising flour
  • 3 flax eggs
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 350 g mixed dried fruit
  • 50 g mixed peel
  • ½ lemon (grated zest only)
  • 500 g marzipan
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam


  • Line a 20cm round cake tin, and preheat the oven to 150C/gas mark 2.
  • In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add in the flour, flax eggs, almond essence, baking powder, salt and mixed spice and whisk until combined. Add the mixed dried fruit, peel and grated lemon zest and stir into the mixture.
  • Spoon half of the mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Take a third of the marzipan, roll it out to 20cm in diameter and place on top of the cake mix in the tin. Add the rest of the cake mixture and smooth the top. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours or until golden and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean (remember there’s a layer of marzipan in the middle so don't confuse marzipan on the skewer for uncooked cake). Once baked, remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
  • Melt the apricot jam in a pan, then brush the top of the cooled cake with it. Divide the remainder of the marzipan in half, roll out to 20cm in diameter, and place on top of the cake. Take the remaining third of marzipan and roll out little balls, arranging them around the edge of the cake.
  • Place the cake under a hot grill for 1-2 of minutes, or until the top of the marzipan begins to brown. Enjoy!