Gluten-Free Simnel Cake

Gluten-Free Simnel Cake

You will need an 8 inch cake tin and some baking parchment for this recipe.


  • 105g sorghum
  • 105g millet
  • 2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 220g butter
  • 220g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 220g sultanas
  • 100g currants
  • 50g chopped, candied peel
  • 100g glace cherries, washed and dried
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 750g white marzipan
  • Apricot jam or quince jelly to glaze


Line and butter an 8 inch cake tin with baking parchment.

Pre-heat a fan oven to 150℃.

Weigh the flours, baking powder and spice into a bowl.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.

Add the lemon and orange zest to the mixture and beat again.

Fold the dried fruit and candied peel into the mixture.

Fill half the cake tin with the mixture.

Roll out 250g marzipan to an 8 inch circle and add to the tin, then top up with the remaining mixture.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 2½ hours until well risen. If necessary cover the cake with tin foil or parchment after one hour to prevent burning. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean when it is fully baked.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

When completely cool, remove the cake from the tin, roll out a second circle of marzipan and trim it to fit the top of the cake.

Brush the top of the cake with warmed apricot jam or quince jelly, and cover with the trimmed marzipan.

Use a sharp knife to mark a cross grid pattern on the marzipan, and crimp the edges with your fingers.

Roll out 11 balls of marzipan, cut a small slice from the bottom of each ball and place them around the top of the cake with the flat side down.

Put the cake on a baking sheet and place under a hot grill for as long as it takes to brown the tops of the balls. You can also brush the marzipan with beaten egg before browning if you choose.

The cake looks beautiful decorated with a ribbon and fresh primroses for Easter.