Simnel-Sunday is Mothering Sunday (Mid-Lent) and Simnel cake was originally eaten then. Now it is eaten at Easter. It is decorated with 11 marzipan balls which represent the eleven true disciples of Jesus (leaving out, of course, Judas Iscariot).
pale brown (or white) sugar
dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, candied peel)
marzipan (or more)
food mixer (optional)
rolling pin (optional)
round baking tin
baking paper (optional)
time in oven: one and a half hours
making cake mix
decorating top with nuts and fruit
- Measure out the butter and sugar and .
Then beat in the eggs, then the and the cinnamon.
- Add the dried fruit. Stir the mix thoroughly, but with a spoon rather than using a mixer which might cut up the fruit too much.
- Line the bottom, and possibly the sides as well, of the baking tin with baking paper (this is optional, but makes it a lot easier to get the cake out afterwards). into the tin. Divide the marzipan into three. Make a third into a flat round (you can use a rolling pin, or just your hands.) Put the marzipan into the tin, on the mix. Then add the rest of the mix on top, levelling it off. In fact, as the cooked cake tends to rise in the middle, make sure that the mix is higher near the edges than in the centre.
- Put the tin in the oven without a lid. This needs to cook for about an hour and a half. At the end, the cake should be brown and feel solid in the middle when you gently push at it.
- Make the next third of marzipan into another round, and put on the top of the cake. From the last third, make eleven balls of marzipan (see below) and place round the edge. Put the cake under the grill so the marzipan on top goes slightly brown. Keep an eye on it - black marzipan is not very nice!
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Then turn it out, and leave it for a while to dry off a bit. Add any decorations that you want.
- As you can see from the picture, you can add various decorations. I have halved glacé cherries and put them between the marzipan balls. The rest of the cherries in the pot were cut up and put in the cake mix. I have also added some chocolate drops to make a next. These were put on while the cake was still warn, so they would melt slightly, then harden in place. I intend to add little edible eggs on the nest.
- How do you divide a lump of marzipan into eleven balls? Divide the lump into twelve (which is easy, into half, then half again, then thirds). Put eleven balls on cake. Eat the twelfth!
- This is a standard fruit cake, very similar to the Christmas cake. I have used pale brown or white sugar, as a lighter looking cake seems better for Easter. I have also used only cinnamon, and left out the alcohol. Please feel free to add more (or less) spices as you want, or alcohol if you wish! I have not given an amount of spice. I used two teaspoons (about 10 ml).
© Jo Edkins 2010 -