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Simnel cake and Mothering Sunday

Simnel cake dates back to medieval times but, in more recent times has become associated with Mothering Sunday, (Which is the 4th Sunday in Lent, exactly 3 weeks prior to Easter).

It is a fruit cake that is covered with marzipan and has 11 marzipan balls surrounding the circumference. These balls signify the 12 Apostles less Judas. The name is said to derive from the latin word, 'simila' which denotes fine wheaten flour which is used to make the cake along with other very rich ingredients.

In more recent times, girls in service were given Mothering Sunday off to spend with their families and they were permitted to bake a Simnel cake to take home with them. Hence the association with Mothering Sunday. It is more of a home-baked cake rather than a commercial cake and, sadly, no longer enjoys the popularity it once had.

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