Easter is around the corner, and the UK is gearing up for visits from the Easter Bunny and an overload of delicious Easter treats.
Why not change things up this year by giving the shop bought chocolates a skip and baking your very own traditional Easter cake with help from our easy Easter baking recipe. Take a look at our Easter blog recipe on how to make chocolate treats.
Simnel cake is a traditional Easter fruit cake, known for its two layers of marzipan and pretty decorations. There’s some debate about the origins of the recipe, but apparently it was originally made on Mothering Sunday as a special indulgence to break up the monotony of Lent.
More recently however, it has become better known as an Easter Sunday recipe, a treat to be served up after dinner.
It is usually topped with 11 marzipan balls, but this could be replaced with chocolate eggs or decorative edible flowers.
- 225g unsalted butter (most margarine will work as an alternative)
- 225g sultanas
- 225g light muscavado sugar
- 100g red glacé cherries
- 100g currants
- 50g chopped candied peel
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 225 self-raising flour
- 4 medium free range eggs
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice or cinnamon
- 500g marzipan
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- 1 egg, beaten
Pre heat the oven to 150C, and measure your ingredients. Divide the marzipan into three, making sure the butter is softened, and grease and line the cake tin.
Cut the cherries into quarters and add them into a bowl with the sultanas, currants, peel, zest, and spices. In a separate bowl cream the butter and muscavado sugar (caster sugar works as an alternative).
Add the fruit and spices to the butter and sugar, and beat in the eggs. An optional handful of chopped and roasted almonds adds extra texture.
Make sure the mixture is well beaten, and then pour half of it into the tin.
Roll out one third of the marzipan and create a circle the size of the tin. Place this gently into the tin, then add the rest of the mixture and level out.
Bake for two to two and a half hours until well risen and cooked through. Leave to cool, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Once the cake reaches room temperature, heat the apricot jam on the hob, then brush the top of the cake with it before adding a second circle of marzipan to the top.
The remaining marzipan can be shaped into 11 balls and placed around the top of the cake. Use the beaten egg to brush the tops of the balls before adding to a hot grill to lightly toast, or add your alternative decorations.
Leave to cool, and then serve up.