A Delightfully Small Simnel Cake Recipe for Intimate Occasions and Sweet Cravings
Simnel cake is a traditional Easter cake that is rich in both flavor and history. With its unique combination of fruitcake and marzipan, it has been enjoyed by families for generations. While the tradition calls for a large cake, this recipe will show you how to make a delightfully small version that is perfect for intimate occasions and those sweet cravings that can’t wait until Easter!
A Brief History of Simnel Cake
Simnel cake has been a part of British Easter celebrations for centuries. Its origins can be traced back to medieval times when it was initially baked as a gift for Mothering Sunday. The cake was traditionally made by young girls to present to their mothers, hence the name “simnel,” which is derived from the Latin word “simila” meaning fine flour.
The cake is typically made with a rich fruitcake base and covered with a layer of marzipan. It is then topped with a second layer of marzipan and decorated with 11 marzipan balls to represent the 12 apostles, excluding Judas.
Over the years, the recipe has evolved and adapted to suit different tastes and preferences. While the traditional Simnel cake is large and takes several hours to bake, this recipe will guide you in making a smaller version that can be baked in just under an hour.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
- 125g butter, softened
- 125g light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 125g self-raising flour
- 250g mixed dried fruit
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 150g marzipan
- Apricot jam for glazing
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a round cake tin with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and light brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift in the self-raising flour and mixed spice, and fold gently into the mixture.
- Add the mixed dried fruit to the batter and stir until well combined.
- Take half of the marzipan and roll it into a disc that will fit the bottom of your cake tin.
- Spread about a tablespoon of apricot jam on top of the marzipan disc to create a sticky surface for the cake batter to stick to.
- Pour the cake batter into the tin, spreading it evenly over the marzipan disc.
- Place the tin in the preheated oven and bake for around 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Once the cake is fully baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, take the remaining marzipan and roll it out into a circle that is slightly smaller than the top of your cake.
- Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam and carefully place the marzipan disc on top.
- Using the extra marzipan, shape 11 small balls and arrange them on top of the cake.
- To give the marzipan balls a golden finish, you can place the cake under a hot grill for a few minutes or use a blow torch to lightly brown them.
- Once the marzipan has set, your Delightfully Small Simnel Cake is ready to be enjoyed!
This recipe yields a small, yet incredibly flavorful Simnel cake that is perfect for sharing with loved ones or enjoying as a treat for yourself. The combination of the moist fruitcake and the sweet marzipan topping is truly irresistible.
While traditionally enjoyed during the Easter season, this Delightfully Small Simnel Cake can be enjoyed all year round. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply craving a delicious slice of cake, this recipe is bound to satisfy your sweet tooth.
So, why wait until Easter to enjoy a slice of this delightful cake? Gather the ingredients, follow the steps, and indulge in the heavenly flavors of this Simnel cake in the comfort of your own home. Happy baking!