Simnel Cake is a traditional Easter treat eaten in many Christian countries. Originally made to celebrate Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent when the 40 day fast would be relaxed, it is now eaten throughout the Easter period. We opted for a mini cake recipe from Lakeland, but a large cake is just as simple.
It is a light fruit cake that contains a layer of marzipan and is decorated with eleven or twelve marzipan balls on another layer of marzipan. They are meant to represent the twelve apostles minus Judas or the remaining eleven plus Jesus.
Start by using the classic creaming method for our butter and sugar before gently beating in your eggs. Next, fold in your flour and mixed spice before adding your dried fruit, mixed peel and some grated lemon zest.
Spoon half of your mixture into your tins and gently level. Top each one with a layer of marzipan. This will melt during baking and add a wonderfully moist almond layer to your finished cakes. Finally top up with your remaining mix, level, then bake at 180 degrees fan for 40-45 minutes until golden.
Once cooled, top each cake with another layer of marzipan and add your apostles. We went for eleven as we're not sure we could have fit twelve! Pop under a hot grill for a few minutes until lightly browned.