Why do we have Simnel Cake at Easter?

Why do we have Simnel Cake at Easter?

When it comes to Easter food traditions, Simnel Cake is right up there alongside hot cross buns and chocolate eggs.

Yet, why is Simnel Cake an Easter favourite, and what is the background to this seasonal classic? Grab a cuppa and settle back for a slice of history.

What is Simnel Cake?

Think of Simnel Cake as the Easter version of a Christmas cake. 

This light fruit cake is topped with a tempting layer of marzipan that makes it deliciously moreish.

As if the generous marzipan topper wasn't glorious enough, Simnel Cakes are also distinguished by a decoration of 11 marzipan balls.

If the description alone has left you feeling peckish, feast your eyes on our classic Simnel Cake!

How is Simnel Cake linked to Easter?

Did you know that this Easter classic is also associated with another special occasion: Mother's Day?

Originally, simnel cake was a family feast enjoyed by people returning to their hometown to visit the church where they were baptised. This venue was referred to as their mother church, hence the name Mothering Sunday.

With Mothering Sunday falling just three weeks before Easter (on the fourth Sunday of Lent), some people would save their simnel cakes to be eaten during the Easter weekend.

Over time, this became an annual tradition that is still enjoyed as an Easter staple by many people in the UK and Ireland today.    

Why are Simnel Cakes topped with 11 marzipan balls?

The 11 marzipan balls atop each Simnel Cake aren't a random addition. The balls represent the 12 apostles apart from Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.

Want to make it an Easter to remember?

There are Simnel cakes and then there's Grandpa's Simnel Cake.

Our moist, rich, and sweet fruit cake is topped with hand-rolled white marzipan, decorated with 11 lightly-toasted marzipan balls, and baked the traditional way. Plus, with a 3-month shelf life, it's an Easter gift that keeps on giving.

"Oh Wow! What can I say about this fabulous cake!! It was just like my Granny used to make and I remember it well. Since then I have had various versions of Easter Simnel Cake some of which have been ok but this one was absolutely delicious and exactly right in texture, taste, and eating experience!! Oh my, I can't wait for next year." 

Whether as the centre piece of your Easter spread or to simply enjoy with a cup of tea, you can treat the marzipan lovers in your life to our Simnel Cake selection...


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