- 250g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 5 egg, beaten
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 250g self-raising flour, plus an extra 2 tbsp
- 1 tsp baking powder
Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…
- zest 1 orange, plus 2 tbsp of the juice
One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…
- 250g natural marzipan, coarsely grated (easiest if chilled beforehand)
One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…
- ½ tsp almond essence, optional
arr-mund or al-mund
Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…
- 200g glacé cherry, halved
For the decoration
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Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 and butter and line a 20cm round, loose-bottomed deep cake tin. Beat the butter and sugar together with electric beaters or a tabletop mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 250g flour, baking powder, orange zest and juice and beat well till thick, creamy and evenly mixed.
Toss cherries in the extra 2 tbsp flour and fold into the batter along with grated marzipan and almond essence (if using). Spoon into the prepared tin, level and bake for 1 hr 30 mins, or until well risen and golden. A skewer will come out clean when ready. Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins, then turn onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Mix the icing sugar with just over 1 tbsp water to make a loose but not-too-runny icing. Scatter the almonds over the top of the cake and position the 12 glace cherries around the edge, using a dot of the icing to fix. Drizzle the icing over the cake and finish with a scattering of orange zest.
We’ve used cherries instead of marzipan, which is traditionally rolled into balls to top simnel cakes. Most people top their cake with 12 balls, which represent the 12 apostles minus Judas, plus Jesus. Others use 11 – it’s up to you.