Adapted from this recipe featured on the Doves Farm website (Easter 2014), this vegan Simnel cake recipe uses gluten-free flour but the Odense almond paste warns that it “may contain” gluten. If you need it guaranteed gluten-free, you could make your own by mixing 300g of ground almonds with 300g of icing sugar and the juice and zest of 2 lemons. I wouldn’t recommend substituting a standard marzipan though, as they have a much lower almond content (25% instead of 50%).
This cake kept well for several days – I made it on Maundy Thursday and it was still moist on Easter Monday.
200g packet of Odense Mandelmasse (almond paste)
1 eating apple
125g sunflower oil
150g brown sugar
75 ml water
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp xanthan gum
175g gluten free plain flour
200g raisins and/or currants
100g mixed glace peel
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC/Fan 140º/300ºF/Gas Mk3.
- Grate the apple into a bowl, add the sugar and oil then beat vigourously.
- Add the water, nutmeg, cinnamon, xanthan gum and baking powder and beat vigourously again.
- Mix in the flour, raisins/currants and peel.
- Press half the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm/8” round deep spring-form tin.
- Using a little over half of the almond paste, roll a circle and place it on top of the cake mixture.
- Spread the remaining cake mixture on top of the almond paste.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 1¾/2 hours.
- Allow the cake to cool then run a knife around the cake edges and turn it out from its tin..
- Roll out the remaining almond paste and use biscuit cutters to cut out appropriate motifs – I used a butterfly for the centre and flowers to go in a ring around the outside.
- Press the almond paste shapes onto the top of the cake while it’s still slightly warm as this will help them stick.