Mother’s Day Herbal

Vic VioletsnRoses        Mother’s Day Herbal  Herbs for Mother’s Day & Other Special Women in Your Life: Mother’s Day History, Traditions, Recipes & Mother’s Day Creed

Long before Anna Jarvis helped to institute America’s observation of “Mother’s Day, ” the English were already remembering their mothers on “Mothering Sunday,” as known as Simnel Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent, dating back to the Middle Ages. This was the day the young apprentices and servants were permitted to return to their home villages, visiting their mothers on annual holiday leave. The Lenten fast was allowed to be broken on this day, and the children (usually the eldest son) took their mothers a spiced confection called “Simnel Cake.” The recipe for this cake varies by district, so there are many versions!

                                          Simnel Cake 

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 cups unbleached flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup currants

1/4 cup candied fruit peel, finely ground

8 ounces almond paste

Confectioner’s sugar

Optional: Candied violets, or marzipan fruits, to garnish


Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Cream butter and sugar together, until fluffy. Beat eggs in one at a time. Sift together flour and salt, separating into 3 parts; then blend each part into the egg-butter-sugar mixture. Lightly mixing, fold in currants and candied fruit peel.


Prepare an 8-10-inch cake pan, by greasing it, and lining it with waxed paper or greased parchment. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Between 2 sheets of waxed paper, roll out half of the almond paste into a circle; remove top sheet of waxed paper, and place on top of batter, remove remaining waxed paper sheet. Pour remaining batter on top of almond paste layer. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away slightly from the side of the pan. Remove from oven.


Roll out remainder of almond paste as before, and place on top of cake. Return to oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow cake to cool on rack for 30 minutes. When cooled, run knife around edge of cake pan, to remove the cake. Sprinkle cake top with confectioner’s sugar, and decorate with candied violets or marzipan fruit.


Candied Fruit Peel: may be made by cutting oranges, lemons and limes, into long strips; place on cookie sheets. Sugar Glaze: in a heavy saucepan, dissolve 2 cups of sugar in 1/2 cup water, stir over medium heat until mixture is clear; cover, increase heat, bringing to a rapid boil; uncover and allow to boil 3 more minutes. Brush fruit peel with glaze. After glaze dries, chop glazed fruit peel in food processor.


Candied Violets: may be made by brushing washed and dried freshly-picked violets with powdered egg white (prepared according to package directions), applied with a small clean paintbrush. Place completely coated flowers on a wire rack, and lightly sprinkle with sugar. Once candied violets are completely dried (2-3 hours), embellish your Simnel Cake!


(NOTE: Be sure your violets or other edible flowers have not been sprayed or treated with chemicals of any kind, and are pesticide-free.)



            Click here for Mother’s Day American History, Traditions & Mother’s Day Creed




  1. May 13, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    […] Click here for Mother’s Day Herbal and Recipes […]

  2. May 13, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    […] here for a recipe to make a Simnel Cake with candied violets!  Published […]

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