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Lemon, ginger and almond simnel-style cake recipe

Lemon, ginger and almond simnel-style cake recipe

33 ratings

A modern-twist on the classic simnel cake which is traditionally eaten at Easter. This gorgeous, colourful cake combines a subtle blend of lemon and ginger, which perfectly complements the creamy, smooth white chocolate icing, making this deliciously moist cake all the more impressive. A brilliant way to round off your Easter feast! See method

  • Serves 10-12
  • 1 hr 30 mins to prepare and 40 mins to cook, 2 hrs 00 mins to cool
  • 724 calories / serving
  • Freezable


For the cake

  • 3 lemons, finely zested plus 7 tbsp juice
  • 150g crystallized ginger, finely chopped (or stem ginger, well drained)
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 225g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 175g ground almonds

For the white chocolate ganache

  • 300g white chocolate, broken into squares
  • 150ml double cream
  • 35g butter

For the white chocolate butter icing

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 50g white chocolate, melted and cooled

For the marzipan balls

  • 250g natural marzipan
  • edible gold dusting powder
  • blue gel food colouring
  • purple gel food colouring
  • pink gel food colouring
  • green gel food colouring
No self-raising flour? Add 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    44g 63%
  • Saturates

    21g 106%
  • Sugars

    62g 69%
  • Salt

    0.3g 5%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 76.4g Protein 9.7g Fibre 2g


  1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, gas 4. Grease the sides of 2 20cm round, deep, loose-based cake tins. Line the bases with baking paper.
  2. Mix the lemon rind and juice with the chopped ginger and set aside. Put the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and using an electric whisk, cream together until pale, smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Fold half of the flour, ground ginger and ground almonds into the mixture followed by half of the lemon and ginger mixture. Repeat with the remaining flour, almonds and lemon and ginger mixture.
  4. Using a clean electric whisk, beat the egg whites until white, foamy and stiff. Add a large spoonful to the cake mixture and fold in to loosen the mixture a little. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the remaining egg white in to the mixture until well combined. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 35 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Cool in the tin for 5 mins then turn out on to a wire cooling rack and leave until completely cool.
  5. Meanwhile, make the white chocolate ganache. Put the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl. Stand the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (without letting the water touch the base of the bowl) and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Alternatively microwave on high for 1-1½ mins. Add the butter and remove the bowl from the pan. Beat in the butter and cool. Chill for 35-45 mins or until the mixture thickens to a spreading consistency.
  6. Meanwhile, make the buttercream: place the butter, icing sugar and milk in a bowl and beat until smooth and combined. Stir in the cooled, melted chocolate. Set aside at room temperature.
  7. When the cakes are cold sandwich them together with a thin layer of the white chocolate ganache, placing the flattest side of the top cake uppermost. Using a palette knife, spread the buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake, making it as smooth as possible. Chill for 10-15 mins until firm.
  8. Using a palette knife spread the remaining white chocolate ganache over the top and sides of the cake. Chill while making the marzipan balls.
  9. To make the marzipan balls: Divide the marzipan into 5 pieces, making one piece slightly larger than the rest; divide this into 3 and roll into balls. Sprinkle some of the gold dusting powder over a small plate and roll the marzipan balls in it to coat. Colour the remaining pieces of marzipan using a few drops of each of the colourings. Shape each colour into 2 balls. Arrange on top of the cake and serve.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Bake according to the recipe but stop before adding decoration or icing if called for. Allow to cool completely. Wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months.

Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving. If you wish to serve the baked goods warm, place them on a baking sheet for 10 mins in a moderate oven.

If you wish to add icing or decoration, add them after the baked goods have fully defrosted and are at room temperature.

See more Easter cake recipes

As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.

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