Easter Simnel Cake

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Easter Simnel Cake

A short History behind the Simnel Cake (
A Simnel Cake is a rich, fruity cake made with marzipan and eaten during the Easter period in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other countries. It is distinguished by two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top. The top layer is capped by a circle of “eggs” made of the same paste, and is lightly browned under a grill. It was originally made for the middle Sunday of Lent when the forty-day fast would be relaxed, although in more recent times it is also eaten throughout the pre-Easter period, particularly on Refreshment Sunday (also known as Laetare Sunday), Easter Sunday, Sunday of the Five Loaves, and Simnel Sunday โ€“ named after the cake. Conventionally eleven, or occasionally twelve, marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, with a story that the balls represent the twelve apostles, minus Judas or Jesus and the twelve apostles, minus Judas. As with my method, I’ve made 12 individual muffins representing Jesus and his 11 disciples minus Judas.
The Recipe
I used a recipe from Heilie Pienaarโ€™s book, The Ultimate Book of Baking in which she makes a Simnel Loaf with a roll of Marzipan through the centre. If you prefer to toss the Marzipan, you can, it wonโ€™t make any difference to the recipe and with or without marzipan, its very delish. I pretty much changed the baking format in that I turned the loaf or cake into individual muffins with a blog of marzipan on top.
Easter Simnel Cake
You will need
300g dried fruit cake mix
100g whole glace cherries
60ml sherry of orange liqueur
150g butter
140g castor sugar
3 extra large eggs
500ml cake flour
5ml baking powder
45ml milk
250g marzipan (optional)
250ml icing sugar
15ml orange juice
3ml grated orange rind
Easter Simnel Cake
Combine the fruit cake mix and cherries in a bowl. Add sherry and leave to soak for about 30 minutes.
Grease a 12 hole muffin pan and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Sift the flour and baking powder and add. Add the fruit and milk and mix well. Place blobs of batter into each individual muffin holder and bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees Celsius for about 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
Combine all icing ingredients and drizzle over each individual muffin.
Roll small marble size balls of marzipan and place on top of each muffin once cooled.


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