Simnel cake has long been the traditional cake for both Mother’s Day and Easter. A spiced cake with a layer of marzipan baked through the centre and marzipan on the top. I am following this format with with these little cakes which are very much like mini simnels. Make them for something special at Easter, or to give as presents. You will need 12 hole muffin tin (large buns) or a tray of silicone moulds and a fluted pastry cutter.
- 175g (6oz) butter or margarine
- 175g (6oz) golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 225g (8oz) mixed dried fruit
- 500g (1 lb) marzipan
- marzipan from above
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
If using tins grease them but silicone moulds do not need greasing. Heat the oven to Gas 5 / 190C.
Cream together the fat and sugar, beat in the eggs gradually, reserving 1 tablespoonful for later. Fold in the flour sieved with the spices, then the dried fruit.
Measure 350g (10oz) marzipan and put aside for decoration. With the remaining 175g (6oz) marzipan divide into 12, roll into balls and flatten them to the size of the tins or moulds.
Half fill the tins with half the cake mixture, place amarzipan disc on top and cover with the rest of the mixture.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden grown and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Brush the top of the cakes with hot apricot jam. Take the reserved marzipan, divide into 12 and roll each out to the size of the tops of the cakes, trim with the pastry cutter and place on the cakes.
Brush with the reserved beaten egg. Using the marzipan trimmings, make 3 small ball for each cake and position these in the centre of each. Brush with egg.
Put under a moderate grill to become golden. Be very watchful all the time, turning them if necessary because they brown very suddenly.
These keep well in an airtight container for a few days