Bake this Easter cake with your children and share with family and friends.

Annabel Karmel, the UK's best selling author on baby and children's food, shares her recipe for Simnel cake. A light fruit cake, similar to a Christmas cake, it is covered in marzipan with a layer of marzipan or almond paste baked into the middle of the cake. On top of the cake, around the edge are eleven marzipan balls, these represent the true apostles of Jesus. It’s a nice idea to bake this cake with your children – they will have fun rolling the balls of marzipan and this would make a lovely Easter gift for family and friends.

200g / 7 oz caster sugar
200g / 7 oz butter, softened
250g / 9 oz self raising flour
4 large eggs
Zest of one orange
1 tbsp mixed spice
250g / 9 oz sultanas
150g / 5 oz ready to eat dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
50g / 2 oz stem ginger, finely chopped

2 tbsp apricot jam
 450g / 1 lb golden marzipan

1. Preheat the oven to 170 C / 325F /Gas 3. You will need a 9” round springform tin. Line the base and grease the sides well.
2. Mix the caster sugar, butter, flour, eggs, zest and spice together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the prepared fruit and mix well

3. Spoon half of the cake mixture into the base of the tin. Roll out one third (150g) of the marzipan into a 23 cm (9” ) circle and place on top  of the cake mixture. 

4. Spoon the remaining mixture on top and level. Bake in the oven  for about one hour 45 minutes to 2 hours or until golden brown and  firm to the touch. 

5. Remove the cake from the tin and leave to become cold. Meanwhile, roll out another third (150g) of the marzipan into to a  23 cm / 9” circle.
6. Once the cake is cold, melt the jam in a small pan, then brush the top of the cake with the jam and place the marzipan circle on top. 

7. Divide the remaining third of the marzipan into 11 pieces and shape into little balls by rolling between your palms. Position these around the edge of the cake.  Arrange fresh flowers or flowers made of icing in the middle of the cake.

For more great recipes, download Annabel Karmel's app Annabel’s Essential Guide to Feeding your Baby and Toddler, available on iTunes for £3.99.

March 2012