What is Simnel Cake?
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. It is distinguished by two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top. The top layer is capped by a circle of "eggs" made of the same paste, and is lightly browned under a grill. It was originally made for the fourth Sunday in Lent, also known as Laetare Sunday, the Refreshment Sunday of Lent, Mothering Sunday, the Sunday of the Five Loaves, or Simnel Sunday – named after the cake. (when the forty-day fast would be relaxed), although in more recent times it is also eaten throughout the pre-Easter period, and especially on Easter Sunday. While the popularity of simnel cake waned throughout the twentieth century, it has recently enjoyed a marked resurgence, which has been largely attributed to public endorsements by a number of prominent bakers.