There are few things that are more comforting than home bakes to celebrate the end of Lent. Easter is the perfect opportunity to get together, celebrate, and satisfy a sweet tooth. As well as the classics, there is plenty of opportunity to experiment with little twists or try a tradition from another part of the world.
Enriched with butter, milk and eggs, laced with warming spices, studded with raisins and decorated with a cross, traditionally hot cross buns are eaten on Good Friday, to mark the end of Lent. The traditional recipe includes raisins and spices but nowdays, there are endless variations. Personally we prefer the classic but with extra mixed spice and kept little underbaked and doughy.
Leftover buns make for perfect bread and butter pudding: crunchy golden crust on top and a custardy comfort (in this case laced with a little brandy) on the bottom.
Simnel is a lightly-spiced fruit cake, traditionally lighter than its dark and heady Christmas cousin. It has two layers of marzipan, one layer baked in the centre and the other decorating the cake, sitting atop an apricot jam glaze. The cake is decorated with eleven marzipan balls, to represent Jesus’ apostles. The baked layer of marzipan melts making the centre soft and infusing the sponge with fragrant notes of almond that blend with the mixed spices.