Simnel cake at Easter has long been a tradition in my house. We all really like fruit cake and, for the most part, marzipan, so you can imagine that Simnel cake would go down a treat. However when I was young I would always look at it and think … nah I will have chocolate instead. So this year I have decided to make Simnel cake child friendly, chadult friendly (that’s an adult who enjoys childish things e.g. me) and just a bit more fun.
I spent a couple of hours the other night pinning a load of Easter inspiration and it reminded me there is a lot more to Easter than chocolate eggs. For example daffodils, chicks, rabbits, hot cross buns, woven baskets, tulips…. I could go on. And it made me think why not go crazy and make Simnel bunnies. Boom! How great is that. Bitesize Simnel treats that are fun to make and look really cool. What’s not to love.
I experimented and it happened. So hop on down and get your bunny on!
Oh and I couldn’t resist making a miniature Simnel cake as well for everyone to admire. Because let’s face it, Easter ain’t Easter without Simnel.
for the cake
4 oz butter
4 oz golden caster sugar/ soft brown
4oz plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1/2tsp mixed spice
8oz dried fruit mix ( sultanas, currants, raisins, mixed peel)
Zest ½ lemon
500g of Marzipan either store bought or homemade almond Icing
Black writing icing
- Preheat the oven at 180C degrees. Cream your butter and sugar together in a bowl
- Beat the eggs and add them to the mixture bit by bit. Add the mixed spice and baking powder to your flour and add to the mixture
- Mix in dried fruit and lemon zest, stir until everything is combined
- Place into tin and bake for approx 35mins ( I baked this in large muffin tins – so if you are using a larger pan the cooking time may differ – so keep your eyes on it)
- Remove from oven and leave to cool
- Once fairly cool, crumble into a bowl. Work the mixture with your hands until you have a bowl of crumbs
- Squeeze Crumbs into eggs shapes – about a 1tbsp at a time and leave to sit for 15 mins
- Make your marzipan and roll out so it is about the thickness of a pound coin , cut into circles
- Wrap the marzipan around your egg shapes and join at the bottom, you have to be a bit forceful but they will keep their shape
- Shape ears out of marzipan and a small bobble for the tail, attach using a bit of cooled boiled water
- Then draw your face on. Repeat until you have a whole host of rabbits ( this recipe yields about 8 big or 12 smaller rabbits)
Alternatively to make a mini Simnel Cake
- Repeat recipe from above until baking, place a spoonful of mixture into your muffin case/pan, then add a circle of marzipan about 2mm thick, then add another spoonful of mixture
- Bake in the oven for approx 45 mins (again check according to pan size – I used a wooden skewer)
- Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool
- To decorate rollout a thin circle of marzipan for the top and then create 11 mini balls to sit on the cake. You can either serve as it is or place under the grill for about 20 seconds to brown the top slightly
And that’s it, Simnel in a whole new light.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Hot Cross Brioche Buns.
(if the bunnies aren’t moving, click the picture to see them hop!)