Similar in flavour to a Christmas cake, the Simnel Cake is a spring twist on a classic, packed with fruit, spices and a gooey baked marzipan centre, which is traditionally eaten on Mother’s Day.
The Simnel Cake’s traditions date back to the medieval era, when female servants would bake a rich fruit Easter cake to bring home to their mothers on a rare visit home. Like Hot Cross Buns, the Simnel Cake also holds deep Christian symbolism, with the twelve marzipan balls on top of the cake representing Jesus’ twelve disciples.
Spoil your mother this Mother’s Day and prepare this delicious cake with the help of our tried and tested recipe.
For the cake:
· 100g glacé cherries
· 225g soft butter
· 225g light brown soft sugar
· 4 large eggs
· 225g sultanas
· 100g currants
· 50g mixed peel
· 2 grated lemon zest
· 2 tsp ground mixed spice
For the filling and topping:
· 450g marzipan
· 1-2 teaspoons apricot jam
1. Combine the ingredients and leave to one side whilst preparing the cake tin
2. Line the cake tin with greaseproof paper and butter the surfaces
3. Roll out marzipan to a thickness of around 0.5cm and cut out two disks using the base of the cake tin as a stencil to cut it to the correct size. The marzipan should sit flush with the cake.
4. Fill half of the tin with the cake mix and place one marzipan disc in the centre of the cake tin, and fill the tin with the remainder of the cake mix.
5. Bake at 180°C for approximately 60 minutes. To test, insert a knife into the middle of the cake – if it comes out clean, then it is ready.
6. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack and decorate.
1. Brush cake with warm apricot jam.
2. Place remaining round disc of marzipan on top of the cake.
3. Roll out 12 balls of marzipan and place on the top of the cake, using a blow torch colour the marzipan slightly – if you don’t own a blowtorch, now is the time to invest!
4. Tie a ribbon neatly around the outside, and decorate with spring flowers if you wish.