Farmersgirl Kitchen

Simnel Cake Slice for Mothering Sunday and Easter

Baking, Cake | February 28, 2016 | By

Simnel Cake SliceMothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent, it’s also known as Mothers’ Day but is celebrated in Spring rather than Summer, as it is in the USA.  

In the past it was the tradition for people to return to their ‘mother’ church, the main church or cathedral in their area,  once a year and this took place in the middle of Lent.  This led to families, scattered through work, meeting up as they returned to their home area.  Part of the tradition was for children returning to bring small gifts to their mother and the food most associated with Mothering Sunday is the Simnel Cake, a fruit cake with two layers of marzipan, one on top and one in the middle.  It would be topped with eleven balls of marzipan, one for each of the disciples, excepting Judas.  Simnel Cake is also often served at Easter. 

Simnel SliceI thought I’d take the Simnel Cake recipe and change it up a bit, make it quicker and easier to make and serve for busy families while retaining the same delicious flavours.  I’ve been making cake based tray-bakes for many years, they are simple and you can feed a lot of people quickly and easily. I also like that it’s easy to pack some in a box and freeze it, bringing it out when those visitors arrive unexpectedly!

Simnel Cake Slice
Yields 24
Fruit Cake Slice with marzipan inside and on top, an adaptation of a traditional British Mothering Sunday cake.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 175g soft butter
  2. 175g soft brown sugar
  3. 3 medium eggs
  4. 175g plain wholewheat flour
  5. 3 tsp mixed spice
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. 30ml milk
  8. 275g mixed dried fruit (I used currants and cranberries, but any combination will do)
  9. 50g glace cherries, halved
  10. grated rind of an orange
  11. 40g ground almonds
  12. 500g marzipan (almond paste)
  13. icing sugar
  14. apricot jam, fruit jelly or honey
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 170C.
  2. Line a tray-bake or straight sided roasting tin (27.5 x 17.5 x 2.5 cm) with baking parchment.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, I used my stand mixer but you can mix it with a wooden spoon or an electric hand mixer, until it is thoroughly mixed.
  4. Put all of the mixture into the tin and spread evenly.
  5. Take about 100g of marzipan and roll into 24 small balls.
  6. Push the balls into the mixture at even intervals, you want to aim to have one in each slice.
  7. Move the mixture around with a spatula to just cover the marzipan, the cake will rise and cover them but this helps.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake has risen and is evenly brown.
  9. Leave to cool in the tin.
  10. Once the cake is cool, carefully remove it from the tin and remove the baking parchment. Lay it onto a baking sheet.
  11. Roll out 350g of the marzipan into a rectangle the size of the cake, using the icing sugar to stop it sticking to the work surface and your rolling pin.
  12. Put a tbsp of apricot jam, jelly or honey into a bowl with a little water, heat in the microwave and brush all over the cake.
  13. Place the marzipan on the cake. Use the remaining marzipan to make decorations, I made a twisted rope which I stuck onto the cake with a little more of the jam, but you can make the traditional 11 balls or any other decoration you wish.
  14. Brush the top with more of the jam/jelly/honey and place under the grill or use a chef's blow torch to brown the top of the marzipan.
  15. Leave to cool and cut into 24 squares.
Farmersgirl Kitchen http://farmersgirlkitchen.co.uk/
 The huge advantage of this Simnel Cake Slice is that it’s an easy all-in-one-bowl mix and only takes 25-30 minutes to bake.  It keeps well and tastes just as good as a more traditional bake, perfect for busy Mums on Mothering Sunday. 

Simnel Cake Slice

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Sarah
    February 29, 2016

    My Mum would adore this as she’s a big fan of marzipan. 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      February 29, 2016

      I love marzipan and its lovely to get a chunk inside the cake!

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      February 29, 2016

      Thanks Manjiri, my Mum is closer than yours but far enough away to make it an overnight stay, so I wont see her till later in the month.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      March 1, 2016

      Thanks Choclette, you can never have enough marzipan on or in your simnel cake!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Debbie Menconi
    March 2, 2016

    This looks delicious, and I love the tradition! When you say 3 tsp mixed spices, which spices do YOU use? Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice?

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      March 5, 2016

      Thanks Jenny, me too 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    Helen at Casa Costello
    March 7, 2016

    I’m renowned for being addicted to marzipan! Love a good Simnel cake for Easter – I was away for most of Mothers’ Day so unfortunately didn’t get time for any cake treats! Thanks so much for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek great to have you back x
    Helen at Casa Costello recently posted…February Reads & #WorldBookDayMy Profile

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      March 8, 2016

      Thanks Sarah, we enjoyed them.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: