Balmoral Simnel cake, pan fried and served with cold infused Earl Grey tea

Food & Drink

Recipe by Ross Sneddon, Executive Pastry Chef

Simnel cake traditionally has a layer of marzipan running through its centre and is normally decorated with 11 balls of marzipan to represent the Apostles with the notable exclusion of Judas Iscariot. Here at The Balmoral, we have kept the marzipan in the centre and used 11 different fruits in the cake for our interpretation of this classic. We then top the cake with the finest Marcona almonds and intensify the flavours further by pan frying slices of the cake in browned butter, before pairing with a glass of cold infused Earl Grey tea. This is, without doubt, a trademark Balmoral Easter treat.

Ross Sneddon: “By cold infusing the Earl Grey tea, none of the harsh tannins are released, therefore making the infusion wonderfully fragrant. This tea is the perfect foil to the 11 different fruits we use in the cake, and the tea’s pronounced bergamot oil from the ancient orchards of Calabria adds another layer of flavour effortlessly into the cake.”

Cold infused Earl Grey tea:

Rare tea company Earl grey Tea 5g
Highland Spring still water 1000g

Mix together and leave to infuse for 12 hours then strain.

Soaked fruit mix:

Lexia raisins 100g
Golden raisins 100g
Currants 100g
Semi dried apricots / chopped 100g
Majool dates / chopped 100g
Dried sour cherries 150g
Dried sliced cranberries 150g
Agen prunes / chopped 100g
Dried figs / kept whole 150g
Candied lemon rind / chopped 75g
Candied oranges rind / chopped 75g
Ren’s Spices ground cinnamon 2g
Ren’s Spices ground ginger 2g
Ren’s Spices nutmeg 1g
Organic unwaxed Lemon zest / finely grated 5g
Organic unwaxed Orange zest / finely grated 10g
Grand Marnier 100g
Balvenie Port wood 21 year old single malt whisky 25g
Marmalade / homemade 200g
Cold infused Earl grey tea – enough to generously cover all fruit

Toast the spices lightly in a pan.
Mix all ingredients together and leave to infuse for 24 hours then drain.


Edinburgh Butter - unsalted 350g
Zusto Sugar Replacer 300g
Organic free range eggs 300g
Marriages All purpose flour 500g
Ground Almonds 200g
Baking powder 15g
Invert sugar – Trimoline 150g
Lubeca marzipan As Required
Whole skinned Marcona almonds As Required
Marmalade for glazing As required
Beurre noisette As required

Roll the marzipan into sheets and cut into rectangles to be layered throughout the cake.
Sieve together all dry ingredients.
Make the cake / with a classic creaming method.
Add the soaked fruit mix after the dry ingredients.
Pour ½ the mix into a lined loaf tin and add the marzipan layer.
Add the second ½ of the mix and then arrange the Marcona almonds on the top in alternate rows.
Bake at 160c, cool and brush with boiled and strained marmalade.
Once cooled the cake can be sliced, then pan fried in browned butter until golden.
We then serve the warm Simnel cake with a glass of cold infused earl grey tea.

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