The original Simnel cakes were traditionally made by daughters for mothers and decorated with fresh flowers such as violets and marzipan (see left of photo). However the Victorians changed the traditional Simnel cakes into Easter Simnel cakes by adding eleven small balls of marzipan to represent the Apostles (shown at top of photo). These Easter Simnel cakes are much more common today than the original Mothering Sunday cakes.
History of Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns (shown on right of photo) were traditionally baked and eaten before noon on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter Sunday). Good Friday falls on 10th April this year.
Hot cross buns were originally thought of as having Holy powers and one bun was kept from a batch and hung from the ceiling of the house to protect the household throughout the year. It was then used as medicine if someone in the family became ill (a small amount of bun would be grated into hot milk and administered to the patient). If the bun went mouldy during the year it foretold a disaster to the household.
The spiced buns we know as Hot cross buns first appeared in Tudor times and could only be sold on Holy days or baked for special religious occasions such as Christenings, weddings and funerals. This remained law until the late 1700’s and if a baker broke this law he could be arrested and all his bread given to the poor.
The cross was originally made with a sharp knife and helped the dough to rise during the baking process. This was originally used on ALL bread to help it rise, but after the English Reformation the Church decreed the cross could only be used on Holy Days.
In Victorian times bakers started to add a cross made from white icing or white flour and water paste. They charged more for these buns and this may have given rise to the Nursery rhyme Hot Cross buns
So why not add a taste of Easter to your dolls house?