THE EASTER weekend is fast approaching, and the UK is gearing up for a visit from the Easter bunny and an overload of sweet delicious Easter treats!

This time of year your baking comes with heaped spoonfuls of religious symbolism and we celebrate spring with rich indulgences made up from butter, sugar, fruits, nuts, spices and the most potent symbol of new life, eggs.

I love all things baking at Easter time, and this year’s Easter biscuit recipe is as easy as they come, mostly using things you might have in your store cupboard at home right now.

It’s great for when family and friends drop in, as they say, or more saliently, very good for whipping up and sticking in a basket for all to dive into.

For most of us it’s the last chance to indulge before carb control restrictions drop.

So for me it will be hot cross buns on Good Friday, lamb pie probably on Easter Saturday and Simnal cake for Easter Sunday tea.

The Easter biscuit will fill all sort of gaps over the holiday period, being made on the slightly bigger size than the standard British biscuit – up to four inches (10cm).

Sadly for most of us this is a tradition we've probably forgotten about, but once baked the biscuits will make great gifts if visiting friends or family over the Easter weekend. Be sure to take a batch with you.

This biscuit is crunchy and sugary, a shortbread-type biscuit baked with a handful of currants flavoured delicately with a hint of lemon adding that springtime taste without the hangover of chocolate from the Easter eggs.

They are quite different from the mass-produced iced bunny and chick biscuits you tend to see in the high-street shops today.

The recipe I have in my tried-and-tested collection was first published in 1936 in the Radiation Cookery Book (not as scary as it sounds – it refers to the new gas ovens that had become available.

The recipe uses oil of Cassia which is the spice of a Cinnamon Verum Tree coming from the inner bark, and it was said that Christ’s body was embalmed with the spice and used as a religious recipe, which I'm sure can tell a story.

Today mixed spices is more accessible to buy and keep at hand.

So on a final note, Easter is a pagan festival we still celebrate with cards, flowers, gifts and novelty egg products every year because it's fun and still works.

What better way to celebrate than to bite the head off the chocolate bunny goddess, buy a fluffy chick and stick it on the telly, whilst helping yourselves to a hefty slice of Pagan Simnel cake and some amazing Easter biscuits?

This recipe is an ideal project for the kids to get creative with in the kitchen, and something they be proud to eat afterwards.

Happy Easter!

• Baker Mike’s previous articles and recipes are available by visiting, clicking on What’s On then Food & Drink.