vegan simnel cake

Vegan Simnel Cake

30 Mins     120 Mins     Medium     5

A traditional Easter cake. Deliciously fruity with a hint of spice, and a hidden layer of marzipan inside. And to top it all off, even more marzipan!

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

marzipan

  • 300g ground almonds
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 120g icing sugar
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 4 tbsp water

cake

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 180g vegan butter, softened
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 100g glacé cherries
  • 50g chopped mixed peel
  • 100g currents
  • 225g sultanas
  • 200ml unsweetened non-dairy milk, plus extra for brushing
  • plant syrup

Instructions:

marzipan

  • Mix the ground almonds, caster sugar and icing sugar into a bowl. Add the orange zest and water and mix together until it forms a ball.
  • Lightly dust a surface with icing sugar and knead for a few minutes until it feels smooth. If it feels a little dry, add a splash more water. Add more icing sugar if it feels too wet. Wrap and set aside.

cake

  • Rinse the glacé cherries and cut into quarters. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 140C/285F fan. Line a deep 8 inch cake tin, bottom and sides.
  • Tip all the ingredients except the plant syrup into a mixer bowl, adding the milk in last. On a low speed, mix using a paddle attachment until everything is just combined. Alternatively, mix by hand.
  • Take half the mix and press into the bottom of the tin, then level it out. Take one third of the marzipan and wrap up the rest of the marzipan to use later. Roll the marzipan into a circle roughly 8 inches in diameter. Dust with icing sugar as you roll to stop it sticking to the surface. Place this on top of the cake mix in the tin and spread the remaining cake mix on top, levelling out the top with a spoon or spatula.
  • Bake in the oven for around 2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin. You can then store it in an airtight container overnight at this point.
  • Remove the cake from the tin and place it on an oven proof tray. Brush the top of the cake with plant syrup. Take half of the remaining marzipan and roll into a circle roughly 8 inches in diameter, again dusting with icing sugar as needed to prevent it sticking to the surface. Place on top of the cake and lightly press down. Crimp the edges by using 2 fingers to pinch the edge with one hand. Using one finger on the other hand, press down on the edge of the marzipan against the other 2 fingers.
  • Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 equal sized balls.
  • Turn on the grill. Using a sharp knife, score the top of the cake in a criss-cross pattern, then make up a milk glaze using 1 tbsp of milk and 1 tsp of plant syrup. Brush all over the marzipan before equally spacing the balls around the edge and lightly pressing down. Brush the tops of the balls with more milk glaze.
  • Once the grill is heated, place the cake underneath but not too close. Watch the cake very closely at this point. As soon as the top of the marzipan starts to brown, take the cake out and leave to cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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