Meaning of simnel cake in English:

simnel cake

Pronunciation /ˈsɪmn(ə)l/


mainly British
  • A rich fruit cake, typically with a marzipan covering and decoration, eaten especially at Easter or during Lent.

    ‘As an ingredient in baking and flour confectionery, marzipan is an integral part of several traditional recipes, for instance stollen and simnel cakes.’
    • ‘She baked simnel cake, parkin and scones and made ‘mintoes’ out of powdered milk, syrup and peppermint.’
    • ‘Ah, and I probably should have tried doing the research before I started writing, as the first site Google finds claims that simnel cakes are to do with Mothering Sunday, and should have 11 balls.’
    • ‘He is equally worried about the demise of traditional Yorkshire food, including such delights as Yorkshire relish, plot toffee, simnel cake and curd tart.’
    • ‘However, if you are seeking something more robust, guests at Ashes Barn will be greeted with a slice of simnel cake for tea - and the obligatory chocolate eggs are saved until Easter morning.’
    • ‘Very many thanks for a multitude of letters, and for unfailing generosity, courtesy, tea and simnel cake.’


Mid 17th century simnel from Old French simenel, based on Latin simila or Greek semidalis ‘fine flour’.