Devizes Simnel Cake
Devizes is one of three towns to have it's own signature simnel cake - the Devizes Star Simnel Cake. Rather unsuprisingly, it's baked in the shape of a star. Our Library and Archive holds the original recipe.
Simnel cake is typically eaten at Easter time and nowadays contains lots of marzipan and resembles someting of a fruit cake.
These cakes can be traced to medieval times (where they were yeast-leavened bread) and the word simnel probably derived from the latin word ‘simila’, meaning fine, wheaten flour from which the cakes were made. There were local specialities and Shrewsbury, Devizes and Bury made large quantities to their own special recipes and shapes – all were very rich with ingredients similar to those in Christmas cakes. It was the Shewsbury version that became widespread. The fourth Sunday in Lent is still known as Simnel Sunday in some areas.
The recipe to follow:
3 ½ lb plain flour
2lb lemon peel
½ oz saffron powder mixed with bun powder and well-coloured egg yellow.
Prove well and weigh out 1lb and ½ lb portions. Toughen it with a cloth, and form into a star shape. First boil and then place on tins and bake. Glaze the cake after baking.
Alternatively, you can follow Vaughan's Kitchens (slightly) more updated version here: https://www.vaughanskitchen.co.uk/cookery-school/vaughans-recipes/231-devizes-simnel-cake-our-version