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Cherry fruit cake topped with icing drizzle and glace cherries

Cherry & marzipan cake

A star rating of 4.3 out of 5.15 ratingsRate
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Cuts into 12 slices

Not just for Easter, this delicious cake makes a good centrepiece all year round

Nutrition: per slice
low insalt0.76g


  • 250g butter , softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 5 eggs , beaten
  • 250g self-raising flour , plus an extra 2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • zest 1 orange , plus 2 tbsp of the juice
  • 250g natural marzipan , coarsely grated (easiest if chilled beforehand)
  • ½ tsp almond essence, optional
  • 200g glacé cherry , halved

For the decoration

  • 100g icing sugar , sifted
  • 50g toasted flaked almond
  • 12 natural glacé cherries
  • zest 1 orange


  • STEP 1

    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.

  • STEP 2

    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.

  • STEP 3

    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.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2006


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A star rating of 4.3 out of 5.15 ratings

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