Simnel Muffins are a twist on simnel cake. These lightly spiced muffins with a marzipan layer make a perfect Easter treat.
Springtime brings sunshine and colour. The flowers are now in bloom and mornings are no longer dark. Lighter mornings are full of birdsong. You may even catch a glimpse of bird gathering twigs as they build their nests. The world is coming back to life. According to Anglo-Saxon tradition Spring comes because the Goddess of Spring, Eostre, returns to Earth. Feasts were held in her honour and many of our Easter traditions stem from these times.
Simmel cake is an Easter time fruit cake, make with a layer of marzipan in the middle and a marzipan topping. The simnel cake always has eleven marzipan balls on the top. These represent the disciples, minus Judas who betrayed Jesus. There are many legends surrounding the origin of Simnel cakes. One of these is that they were gifts to mums on Mothering Sunday. They are a traditional Springtime treat. While Simnel cake is delicious, fruit cake does take a while to make. These Simnel Muffins give you all the taste of a Simnel cake but take less time to make. They are the perfect Easter treat.
A lightly spiced batter with a hint of orange and a mixture of fruit makes up the Simnel Muffins. They have a similar taste to a light fruit cake. When you bite into them you will find a layer of marzipan which is a nice surprise. The muffins are simple to make, it is a question of mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl. This is then put into muffin cases with a little marzipan in the centre. Bake in the oven for thirty minutes until golden. They are so easy to make that it would be a good recipe to get your kids to make this Easter.
When the muffins are cool you can decorate them, although they are nice eaten plain. I had some Royal icing so I put this on top of the muffins and added a few stars to make them look pretty. You could use mini eggs and make the top look like a little Easter nest. Children will also enjoy decorating the muffins. You may find that they eat more of the decorations than they use.
Premier Estates DOC Millesimato Prosecco
As it is Easter why not push the boat out and treat yourself to a bottle of prosecco? I have been trying a Premier Estates DOC Millesimato Prosecco. This drink is perfect for an Easter treat (or a treat for any special occasion). It is ideal for drinking with these simnel muffins. If you are having an Easter Sunday roast it will make the meal more special. Why not try a middle eastern inspired roast lamb for a change?
The Preimier Estates prosecco is multi-award wining and has five separate awards for quality. You can taste why when you take a sip. The crisp fresh taste with a hint of sweetness is refreshing on the tongue. There is a lovely after taste of delicate fruity flavours. The Premier Estates DOC Millesimato Prosecco is a great price at £7.99 a bottle with free delivery if you buy six bottles or more.
Simnel Muffins Recipe
Lightly spiced fruity muffins with a layer of marzipan inside
- 250g mixed dried fruit
- zest and juice of one orange
- 175g butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300g self raising flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 5 tbsp milk
- 200g marzipan
- Mix the dried fruit with the orange juice and zest in a bowl and leave to soak for an hour
- Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4
- Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy
- Add the eggs, flour, nilk and spices and mix until smooth.
- Stir the fruit into the mixture
- Half fill the muffin cases with the batter.
- Divide the marzipan into 12 equal sized pieces
- Roll each piece into a ball and squash flat
- Place on top of the muffin batter
- Add the remaining batter on top of the marzipan in each muffin case
- Bake for thirty minutes until risen and golden
- Leave to cool and decorate.
Why not pin the recipe for later?
What are you baking this Easter? Let me know below.
Linking up with the kitchen clearout linky on Madhouse Family Reviews as I finally used some ready made royal icing that has been sitting in my cupboard for ages.
I was sent the Premier Estates Prosecco in return for an honest review. I did not have to say anything nice and my opinions are my own.