Boozy Easter Simnel Cake

Given up alcohol for lent?
This is the perfect cake to break that 40 day fast.

Nothing makes for a better fruit cake than one which has alcohol soaked fruit as its base.
Enriched and moist.
Married together with the nutmeg and all spice, and topped with traditional decorations and chicks, it makes for a zesty centre piece on Easter Sunday.

A cake that will not disappoint.


200g Sultanas
100g Raisins
150g Currants
100g Dried Apricots
50g Crystallised Ginger
100g Walnuts  
100g crushed Almonds 
2 Tablespoons Cointreau
1 Tablespoon Brandy 
100 Light Brown Sugar 
50g Caster Sugar 
200g Butter (room temp)
225g SR Flour 
2-3 generous tspns of Cinnamon, Nutmeg & All Spice
Lemon Zest
3 eggs 
2 tablespoons milk 
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence  

1 Pack of White Marzipan
Nutmeg & Edible Glitter (Optional)


  1. Preheat the over to 180C [350F, Gas Mark 5] and line a 20cm cake tin.
  2. Place apricots, walnuts and crystallised ginger into a food processor and chop for 5-10 seconds.
    If chopping manually, dice your ginger and apricots. Using a pestle and mortar, crush your walnuts into small chunks; we still want some texture in the cake!
  3. Combine in a medium mixing bowl with the remaining dried fruit and nuts. Pour over your liquor, and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix and set aside to soak.
  4. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugars with the vanilla essence together for about 2 minutes, or until it has a smooth texture.
    The light brown sugar will make it a littler grainer and heavy, so don’t expect it to be light and fluffy. It will give it a lovely sweet but richer taste. .

5. Gently fold in the soaked fruit and nuts mixture, until it is evenly distributed throughout the cake mix.

6. Spoon half of the mixture into the cake tin. For a traditional Simnel cake, roll out your marzipan and cut using a blunted knife point) a circle of t the same size as your tin. Place in the middle, over half the mixture, before spooning the rest on top.
I had no marzipan at the time so sadly couldn’t do this.
Using the back of your spoon make a small dip in the middle of the cake. This helps it rise and flatten.

7. Cook at 180C [Gas Mark 5, 350F] for 30 minutes, before turning it down to 130C [Gas Mark 1, 250F] for 90minutes.
Cool completely before removing from the tin.

Once cooled you can start decorating!
Use the rest of your Marzipan, and sticking onto your cake with melted apricot glaze (I didn’t have any so used small amount of honey, not ideal).
Traditionally there are 11 marzipan balls around the edge of cake, this symbolises the 11 disciples that remained loyal to Jesus before his crucifixion.
I sprinkled nutmeg and edible glitter over each ball, and then added the shop bought chickies for some fun!

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