Saturday 2 April 2011

Simnel Cake

I'll to thee a Simnell bring'Gainst thou go'st a mothering, So that, when she blesseth thee, Half that blessing thou'lt give to meI'll to thee a Simnell bring 'Gainst thou go'st a mothering, So that, when she blesseth thee, Half that blessing thou'lt give to me circ17thCentury
Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday. Originally the Simnel Cake was made for Mother's Day by girls in service who were given the day off to visit their mothers. The name is believed to come from a brother (Simon) and sister (Nell) who wanted to make a cake for their mother. During the Middle Ages the custom developed of allowing people who had moved away to visit their home churches, and their mothers, on the fourth Sunday of the Christian festival of Lent. The Simnel Cake signifies the end of Lent which is a period of fasting and repentance culminating in a feast of seasonal and symbolic foods. This cake is now made for Easter. On the top of the cake, around the edge, are eleven marzipan balls to represent the true disciples of Jesus; Judas is omitted. Marzipan Weight of 3 eggs in their shells Butter, Caster Sugar and Flour 1 lb dried mixed fruit 1 tsp ground cinnamon. 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg. Apricot jam (or any jam that happens to be open!) Line a 7 inch cake tin with parchment or greaseproof paper (like you would a Christmas cake). Divide the almond paste into three and take one portion and roll it to a round the size of the cake tin. Cream together the butter and sugar and eggs till very pale in colour. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and then add to the mixture. Fold in gently. Put half of the cake mixture into the tin, smooth and cover with the round of almond paste. Put the remaining cake mixture on the top of the marzipan smooth the surface carefully. Bake in a warm oven, 140°C (gas mark 1) for about 3 hours,test after about 2hours Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. When cold roll another third of almond paste, again to the size of the tin. Make the remaining almond paste equally into eleven balls. Once the cake is completely cold, remove from the tin and brush the top of the cake with jam and cover with the disc of almond paste. Place the eleven balls of paste onto a heat proof dish and grill till brown. Place the marzipan balls evenly around the edge of the cake.


  1. Happy Mother's Day for tomorrow then!

  2. I love simnel cake and yours looks delicious! x

  3. I enjoyed the story behind the Simnel cake.
    How I wish someone would bring me that cake. It looks delicious!
    Happy Mother's Day to you!

  4. Hope you had a lovely Mother's Day

  5. Happy Mothers day! - Lovely cake! I made one for my gran years ago - we still laugh about it, she wanted to put it under the grill to finish it off, but the appostles wouldn't fit, so she ate them!

    Didn't know about how it got it's name - thanks for that!


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