Skip to content
Back Back to Insurance menu Go to Insurance
Back Back to Saga Money Go to Saga Money
Back Back to Saga Magazine menu Go to Magazine
Search Magazine

Gluten-free Easter simnel tray bake

01 April 2020

This gorgeous gluten-free tray bake is a twist on the classic simnel cake, a traditional Easter cake of lightly spiced fruit cake with a marzipan topping.

Gluten-free simnel traybake
Gluten-free simnel traybake

Cooking time

30 minutes


1 tray bake


  • 175g FREEE Self Raising White Flour
  • 1 tsp FREEE Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 150g mixed dried fruits


  • 200g marzipan
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 25g flaked almonds


How to make the tray bake

1. Rub some oil around the inside of a 20x30cm/8x10” traybake tin or insert a cake liner and pre-heat the oven to 170°C, fan 150°C, 325°F, gas 3.

2. Put the flour, xanthan gum and mixed spice into a bowl and stir to combine.

3. Measure the caster sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.

4. Break one egg into the bowl and beat to incorporate.

5. Add the ground almonds and stir.

6. Break the remaining eggs into the bowl one at a time beating well between each one.

7. Tip in the prepared flour and stir to incorporate.

8. Stir in the mixed dried fruit.

9. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and smooth the surface.

10. Bake for 30 minutes.

How to decorate

1. Cut the marzipan into 11 equal pieces and roll them into balls.

2. Put the marzipan balls under a hot grill for a few minutes to lightly brown the tops. Remove and leave to cool.

3. Toast the flaked almonds under the grill for two minutes until light golden brown.

4. Put the icing sugar into a bowl, add the lemon juice and stir into a smooth icing.

5. Spread the icing thinly over the cold tray bake.

6. Before the icing sets, place the marzipan balls randomly onto the tray bake and scatter over the toasted almonds.

7. Slice the tray bake and store in a tin.

FREEE products are available online at, Ocado, all major retailers, traditional wholesalers, food service, independent health food stores and farm shops.

Visit our gluten-free recipe section for more delicious ideas for meals, bakes and more


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.