Easy Simnel Style Cake

Less formal than a traditional simnel cake, there are lots of variations depending on how much time you have or how fancy you want to make the cake. This version is a combination of different cake recipes I use, and the cake in the accompanying photo was made with gluten free flour.

Can be made ahead and frozen

Cuts into 12-16 pieces.

 

 

Ingredients

250g mixed dried fruit
100g chopped dried apricots
85g chopped glacé cherries
zest & juice of an orange
200g softened butter
200g light muscovado sugar
4 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
200g readymade marzipan rolled in to circle approx 20cm diameter

For the topping (optional)
50g butter
50g light muscovado sugar
100g plain flour
100g flaked almonds
3 tbsp golden syrup
100g readymade marzipan grated

23cm springform cake tin lined with baking parchment

Oven 160C/Gas 3/fan oven 140C

How to make it

• Soak all the dried fruit in the orange juice for 1-2 hrs, or longer if possible

• Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.

• Add the flour, ground almonds and spices to the bowl and mix in. Add the zest and dried fruit with any remaining juice, stir well to combine.

• Tip half the cake mix into the prepared tin, level and place the marzipan disc on top. Add the remaining cake mix, smooth the surface, and bake for 45 mins

• Meanwhile make the topping by rubbing the butter, sugar and flour together with your fingers to a crumbly texture. Add the grated marzipan, flaked almonds and golden syrup. Mix everything with a fork.

• After 45 mins remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle the topping over the cake.

• Return the cake to the oven at an increased temperature 200C/Gas 6/fan oven 180C for 12-15 mins.

• Remove the cake from the oven once cooked through and allow to cool in the tin before slicing.

• You can now decorate more if you wish; I have used chocolate mini eggs, but you could use balls of marzipan

 

Alternatives

1) Make as above, but instead of rolled marzipan, just cut into chunks and stir into the mix with the dried fruits

2) For a more traditional cake, make as above, but instead of using the topping mix just cover the top of the cake with more rolled marzipan and 11 marzipan balls

3) Bake in a or 20 x 30cm baking tin lined with baking parchment and use the cubed marzipan option. Cut finished cake into squares and decorate each portion with a chocolate egg or ball of marzipan

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