Easter cakes & sweet treats: Traditional Easter treat - Simnel cake

Sweet treats, traditional simnel cake and hot cross buns.

Easter is a wonderful chance to spend time seeing friends and relatives; there is something so relaxing and enjoyable about this long spring weekend. It doesn’t have the manic pre-event shopping stress of Christmas, kids love the choc-fest of egg hunts, parents can relax with a long Sunday lunch knowing there’s no work on Monday, and usually the weather is finally beginning to improve too. While some grown-ups might be happy to scrum in with the kids for the hidden chocolate treats, most adults are more interested in sitting back with a coffee and a slice of something good.

If you’re hosting a family get-together, you don’t want to spend forever in the kitchen, so go for an easy buffet lunch of salmon, cooked meats and salads, and max up the good hostess bit with some homemade cakes, or prepare a traditional but simple Sunday lunch and opt for a fun, uncomplicated ‘dessert’ of chocolate nests…

And don’t forget, put the other grown-ups in charge of  your SuperSavvy egg hunt!

Hot Cross Buns
Most of us might have made rolls or pizza base with yeast or made cakes, but here you’ll need all your skills for both.

See the recipe here

Traditional Simnel Cake
This richly fruited cake should be decorated with a layer of marzipan and topped with 11 marzipan balls (to represent all the apostles except Judas). However marzipan is a less popular taste these days so you could make this with rolled icing, mouled into little balls, if you really wanted to. The sweetness should be compensated for by the density of the cake.

See how it's done here

Chocolate nests
If either hot cross buns or simnel cake sound too ambitious, or you want to have a treat for the little ones to enjoy alongside these traditional offerings, make Easter nests.

If you prefer to bake a Victoria sponge for Easter, make it more festive by topping with cream coloured butter icing, then in the middle, create a little nest using broken bits of a chocolate flaked bar as the twigs and adding a few little candy-covered chocolate eggs and a decorative yellow chick.