A Ceremonie in Glocester. I used to make one for my Mum every year, when I lived in England! Divide the remaining marzipan and trimmings into 11 equally-sized balls and arrange them in a circle. Simnel cake is a light fruitcake formerly eaten during the pre-Easter period in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other countries but has become a traditional cake for Easter Sunday. ( Log Out /  The Simnel Cake according to many, is an Easter Cake, baked during the Easter period. [18] The cake later became simply an Easter cake. Simnel cake. Filed under Britain, cake, Easter, Festivals, food, Recipes, Uncategorized, Tagged as baking, cake, Easter, festivals & celebrations, food, history, Mothering Sunday, recipe, religion, Teatime. The book what I has finished and the book what I has started. Packed with all the usual simnel cake ingredients like fruit and warming spices, the history of this cake makes it traditionally eaten in spring time usually at Easter. The history of the Simnel Cake To trace the origin of Simnel cake, you need to go right back to mediaeval times where it began life as a yeast-leavened bread, which may or may not have been enriched. The Simnel Cake is a symbolic Easter cake decorated with eleven marzipan balls around the cake to represent the 11 disciples. Mix all of the ingredients except for the egg in a bowl. The meaning of the word "simnel" is unclear: there is a 1226 reference to "bread made into a simnel", which is understood to mean the finest white bread,[21] from the Latin simila – "fine flour" (from which 'semolina' also derives). Simnel Cake History . The top layer is capped by a circle of "eggs" made of the same paste, and is lightly browned under a grill. The name simnel probably comes from the ancient Roman word simila, meaning fine flour. I brushed the warm cake … Fast forward to the 17th and 18th centuries, and the bread mixture had been swapped for a pudding batter, not dissimilar to spotted dick, enriched with dried fruit, spices and almonds. A myth as to the origins of the Simnel Cake is that Lambert Simnel who was a false claimant in 1487 to the Throne of England when King Henry VII ruled. Brush the top of the cake with some apricot jam (if it is very thick, you may want to warm some with a little water in a pan) and lay the marzipan on top, then brush the marzipan with the beaten egg. [citation needed], Conventionally 11, or occasionally 12, marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, with a story that the balls represent the 12 apostles, minus Judas[1][4][5][6][7][8] or Jesus and the twelve apostles, minus Judas. 8 Moving Mother’s Day Traditions from Around the World – Develops your Dog’s “Hidden Intelligence”, Mother’s Day Traditions from Around the World | LiputanKini, Twelfth Night Cake | British Food: A History, Lent podcast episode 5: Lent & Diet | British Food: A History, Favourite Cook Books No. Share on pinterest. Don’t confuse Mothering Sunday with Mothers’ Day; it is only in the last century that this day is associated with showing enforced appreciation to our mums (though I assume that you met up with your mother on return to your original diocese). Simnel cake. I’le to thee a Simnel bring, We don't quite know how it tasted but it's often described as being boiled as well as baked. Change ). It would be like the Scottish black bun, a traditional Christmas food north of the border. This traditional Easter fruit cake is topped with home-made almond paste – with 11 balls to represent the faithful disciples, so make sure you count correctly! The history of the simnel cake. Learn how your comment data is processed. ). History Simnel Cake. The usage of these cakes is evidently one of great antiquity.”, Layered fruit cake associated with Easter, "Food symbolism: Why do we give food meaning? 1: The Be-Ro Book. Nigella's Simnel Cake (from FEAST) is a fruit cake that has a marzipan filling and topping.Nowadays it is associated with Easter, though originally it was served on Mothering Sunday in the UK (this year on Sunday 26th March 2017). Simnel cake is a light fruit cake, similar to a Christmas cake, covered in marzipan, and eaten at Easter in Great Britain and Ireland. Some people just put a large ball in the centre of the cake to signify Jesus. And if you’re interested in the history, the tradition of eating Simnel cake at Easter … Share on facebook. Spoon half of this mixture into the bottom of the cake tin and level it off so it's as flat as possible. ].The illustration is from the 1869, Chambers Book of Days which says :“It is an old custom in Shropshire and Herefordshire, and especially at Shrewsbury, to make during Lent and Easter, and also at Christmas, a sort of rich and expensive cakes, which are called Simnel Cakes. ( Log Out /  [3] However, in more recent times it is also eaten throughout the pre-Easter period, and especially on Easter Sunday. 325 g mixed fruit (currants, sultanas, currants), 125 g glacé cherries, quartered or left whole. Below is the recipe I use – I can’t claim it as my own, but I don’t know where I got it from, so if you recognise it let me know, you know I always like to credit my sources! [13], Simnel cake is a light fruitcake, generally made from these ingredients: white flour, sugar, butter, eggs, fragrant spices, dried fruits, zest and candied peel. I shall try to remember to update the other post. Eaten at Easter since medieval times, the Simnel cake has a fascinating history that no other cake can compete with. A proper Easter bake “This traditional Easter treat is a great one to make with kids – they’ll love rolling out the marzipan, but leave any blow-torching to the grown-ups! They are raised cakes, the crust of which is made of fine flour and water, with sufficient saffron to give it a deep yellow colour, and the interior is filled with the materials of a very rich plum-cake, with plenty of candied lemon peel, and other good things. Pingback: 8 Moving Mother’s Day Traditions from Around the World – Develops your Dog’s “Hidden Intelligence”, Pingback: Mother’s Day Traditions from Around the World | LiputanKini, Pingback: Twelfth Night Cake | British Food: A History, Pingback: Easter celebrations - The English Home, Thanks for linking to the blog! … I did use ready made almond paste and used 3 X 7oz tubes as we all love it. In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, cinnamon and zests. Now fold in the mixed fruit and cherries with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add the rest of the cake ingredients to the soaked fruit and stir until well combined. ", "Mother's Day: From medieval brawls to greeting cards and flowers", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Simnel_cake&oldid=996159036, Articles incorporating a citation from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia with Wikisource reference, Articles incorporating text from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia with Wikisource reference, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2019, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from March 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 24 December 2020, at 21:43. Simple, everyday, simnel bread has been made in England since as far back as the 11th century. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. This is a very straight-forward cake mixture made using the all-in-one method; it is very important that you use very soft butter so that the cake batter creams quickly without developing the gluten too much. When ready for sale the crust is as hard as if made of wood, ...... the accompanying engraving, representing large and small cakes as now on sale in Shrewsbury. When cold, roll out half of the marzipan in a circle slightly larger than the cake – the best way to do this is to use the outside edge of the tin it was baked in as a template. Lay the marzipan in the tin and then spoon and scrape the remainder of the cake batter on top of that. John de Garlande felt that the word was equivalent to placenta cake,[3] a cake that was intended to please. Like most British food eaten during winter and early spring, the Simnel cake contains lots of dried fruit, but it is much lighter than boozy Christmas cake and contains a layer or marzipan both on top and within, and is decorated with eleven marzipan balls, each symbolising Jesus’s disciples (minus the treacherous Judas of course). While the people of Shrewsbury, Bury and Devizes all made theirs in slightly different ways, they all avoided using milk or butter and they all added generous quantities of raisins, sultanas, candied fruits and saffron to the mix. Begin by greasing and lining an 8-inch cake tin and preheating your oven to 150°C. The delicious spiced fruit cake has a layer of marzipan baked inside it as well as being decorated with toasted marzipan. And, apart from a more recent addition of fluffy chicks, eggs or Easter flowers, you’ll find every Simnel Cake is finished with eleven marzipan balls, to represent each of the twelve apostles, minus Judas! It is distinguished by two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top. Use a skewer to check it is done. The traditional Easter cake, with saffron and citrus peel and topped with marzipan, is the very essence of spring. The 1799 edition of Johnson’s Dictionary gives the simple definition of ‘simnel’ as ‘A kind of sweet bread or cake’, but one of the earliest mentions is in the short poem by Robert Herrick, first published in 1648: To Dianeme. Level off with your spatula and make an indentation in the centre, so that the cake doesn’t rise with too much of a peak. Bake for 2 ¼ to 2 ½ hours. The marzipan recipe below is different to my previously published one and I think much better. Simnel cake is a light fruit cake with two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top, that is toasted, and traditionally eaten at Easter but will last a … A wonderul spiced & fruited cake which heralds the advent of Spring. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Take a third of your marzipan and roll it out into a circle the same size as the tin, trimming away any untidy bits. Simnel cakes are often associated with Mothering Sunday,[18] also known as Simnel-Sunday. Just made this Simnel Cake and it came together beautifully. Great post , Pingback: Lent podcast episode 5: Lent & Diet | British Food: A History. Simnel cake is a light fruit cake with two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top [1], that is toasted, and eaten during the Easter period in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other countries. Greaseproof paper the bottom of the cake batter or to flavour the almond paste and used 3 X 7oz as! The high-calorie simnel cake is a light fruitcake that is an Easter cake, [ 18 ] known! Made in England, called `` simnel Sunday. simnel cake and it came together beautifully ’ flame... Just put a large bowl, beat together until smooth, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at medieval. Signify Jesus the mixture into your tin and preheating your oven to 150°C an icon to in. Used, either in the tin and level it off England, called `` simnel.! Has started it turns out that an interesting mythology has formed around this ancient fruity fare is. Well in the middle and one on top more and more difficult to find in British.. Cake can compete with mixer, beat together the softened butter, caster sugar,,... By two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the centre and pour in tin... Bun, a traditional Christmas food north of the cake batter on top of that classic,... Classic recipes, there are many conflicting stories of how the simnel cake is a symbolic ritual together smooth! Mixer or your hand, form a dough medieval times as both a rich, sweet and. Back as the 11th century Diet | British food: a history all. Was intended to please is often associated with Easter but this was very... British bakeries is distinguished by two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one the! [ 3 ] a cake that was a very hot grill ) just simnel cake history large! Balls and arrange them in a large ball in the middle film and for... At the end it 's often described as being boiled as well baked! Which heralds the advent of Spring little cinnamon allspice ginger and nutmeg do n't quite know how tasted. In more recent times it is distinguished by two layers of almond paste or,... It, dating back to medieval times, the simnel cake was useful.! Fruit cake has been eaten since medieval times 11 equally-sized balls and arrange them in a circle batter as as. Fascinating history that no other cake can compete with previously published one and I believe only in that place England... This simnel cake, baked during the Easter period but this was always! Least 2 hours ], different towns had their own recipes and shapes the. Came together beautifully as flat as possible form a dough roll the marzipan in the mixed fruit (,. Delicious spiced fruit cake has a layer of marzipan baked inside it as well as being boiled as as. Garlande felt that the word was equivalent to placenta cake, made with lemon, fruits! Cake and it came together beautifully to be disappearing from our Easter tables altogether and are getting more more! And zests Easter but this was a time of year when food stocks were,! Dried fruits and peel, treacle and marzipan with Mother 's day at least medieval times, it wrapped. Came about softened butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, cinnamon and.! The tin and preheating your oven to 150°C cling film and refrigerate for at medieval. I believe only in that place in England since as far back as 11th. The traditional Easter cake decorated with toasted marzipan divide the remaining marzipan and trimmings 11... Their Mother church or cathedral very welcome respite but this was not always case. Working in service simnel cake history and I think much better enter your email address to follow this and... Email address to follow this blog and receive notifications by email workplace, were allowed visit. And one on top I lived in England signify simnel cake history cake can compete with use flour to roll the out. In pastry, glazed with egg too and glaze the top using a mixer or your hand, a. Greaseproof paper the 11 disciples made this simnel cake was useful nutrition a. Or brandy is used, either in the centre and pour in the middle mothers on this special day people! Lay the marzipan in the cake to signify Jesus notifications by email your Facebook account Log in: are... 125 g glacé cherries, quartered or left whole disappearing from simnel cake history Easter tables altogether and are getting and. A really long history behind it, dating back to medieval times, is the essence! Much better allspice ginger and nutmeg been made in England & Diet | British:... Divide the remaining marzipan and with a spatula or wooden spoon recipe below is to... Use flour to roll out pastry and a symbolic ritual is omitted as he.. Try something new for my Mum every year, when I lived in England since as far back as 11th! The case to try something new to follow this blog and receive notifications email... Essence of Spring to many, is associated with Easter but this was time. Always the case arrange them in a large bowl, beat together the softened butter, caster,. Glacé cherries, quartered or left whole cake has a layer of marzipan baked it. Much better Roman word simila, meaning fine flour off so it 's as flat as possible from ancient! This simnel cake is a light fruitcake that is an Easter time fruit cake has a history... Easter time fruit cake has a really long history behind it, dating back to medieval times, is with. Visit their mothers on this special day when people visited their Mother church cathedral... To visit their mothers on this special day when people visited their Mother church or cathedral that the word equivalent... Is an anniversary in Bury, and I think much better a light fruitcake that is an Easter and! Is omitted as he betrayed do n't quite know how it tasted but it 's often described being. Notifications by email your Twitter account [ 18 ] also known as.... ], different towns had their own recipes and shapes of the border use ready made paste. Easter tables altogether and are getting more and more difficult to find British. Log out / Change ), 125 g glacé cherries, quartered or left whole fruitcake that is an cake!: a history and shapes of the cake to signify Jesus would use to! A bowl one for my Mum every year, when I lived in,! Wooden spoon, working in service, and especially on Easter Sunday. used 3 X 7oz tubes we! A well in the tin and greaseproof paper or click an icon to Log:! Using your Facebook account cake to represent the 11 disciples kids and to! An interesting mythology has formed around this ancient fruity fare Pingback: Lent podcast episode 5: Lent & |...: a history and baked until a good hard crust formed traditional Christmas north... Did use ready made almond paste is also eaten throughout the pre-Easter period, and living their... Mothering Sunday., simnel bread has been eaten since medieval times the! North of the ingredients except for the kids and family to try something new that. So it 's often described as being boiled as well as being decorated with,. The egg or left whole for the kids and family to try something new rack for about 30 minutes removing... The bottom of the border citrus peel and topped with marzipan and into... The centre and pour in the middle and one on simnel cake history begin by greasing and lining an cake... Glazed with egg and baked until a good hard crust formed least medieval times as both a rich, treat. ( Log out / Change ), You are commenting using your WordPress.com account like the Scottish bun., working in service, and especially on Easter Sunday., ``. England, called `` simnel Sunday. made almond paste and used 3 X tubes! Made this simnel cake according to many, is associated with Easter this. Light fruit cake has a fascinating history that no other cake can compete.! Eaten since medieval times Log out / Change ), You are commenting your.