Simnel cakes are traditionally given on Mothering Sunday. If you don’t have a mini loaf tin you can use muffin cases. The icing uses freshly squeezed orange juice and gives a pale yellow icing, if Blood or Blush Oranges are in season these will give you a pale pink icing. Source the edible flowers carefully as you must make sure they are free from pesticides, Greens of Devon do a fabulous range of Edible Flowers
Ingredients: for 8 mini loaves or 12 cupcakes
150g mixed dried fruit
150g soft butter or margarine
150g light brown muscovado sugar
175g self raising flour
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
pinch of nutmeg
4 tablespoons milk
175g marzipan (omit for people with nut allergies)
Icing: Juice of 1-2 oranges
500g Icing sugar
- Place the mixed fruit in a bowl, add the zest and juice of the orange and leave to soak for an hour.
- Preheat the oven onto 180c/gas 4 and put a shelf onto the centre runner. (AGA Roasting oven – shelf on oven floor)
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Mix the flour and spices together
- Beat in the eggs and flour mixture adding the milk to achieve a soft dropping consistency, gently stir in the dried fruit and mix well.
- Use half the mixture to pour into the loaf tin or tins, roll out the marzipan and cut into 8 oblongs to fit the loaf tins or 12 small balls if you’re using muffin cases, place the marzipan on top of the mixture in the loaf tins and use the remaining mixture to fill on top. If you’re using muffin cases fill the cases as usual then place a ball of marzipan in the centre and push it gently under the mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes for the small loaves (AGA roasting oven for 20-25 minutes with plain cold shelf above) a little less for muffins. They’re cooked when a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf.
- Mix the orange juice with the icing sugar until you have a thick icing, ice the cakes, sprinkle with edible flowers and eat.