A great alternative to a Christmas cake, this cherry and marzipan cake still delivers wonderful Christmas flavours without the hassle of feeding a fruit cake for weeks. The marzipan layer is not coating the cake but runs through the middle and the cherries are cut really chunky to deliver big bursts of fruit in a light frangipane sponge.
I had full intentions of picturing this cake whole but some certain family members (everyone) just couldn’t help themselves as it was cooling and dug right in. I can’t blame them though. It does smell awesome as it bakes and tastes pretty special too.
- 8oz margarine
- 8oz golden caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 8oz self raising flour
- 4oz ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 8oz glace cherries, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 9oz marzipan
- 1-2oz flaked almonds
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Line and grease a deep 8-inch cake tin with greaseproof paper and margarine. Preheat the oven to 160C.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the margarine until soft. Add the caster sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated then add the flour a third at a time and mix together well.
- Fold in the ground almonds, cherries and almond extract then spoon half of the mix into the prepared tin and level out with a spoon.
- Roll out the marzipan to a 7 ½ inch round. Dust with icing sugar if it begins to stick and then place this on top of the first cake layer in the tin. Add the remaining cake batter over the marzipan.
- Sprinkle with ground almonds and place in the preheated oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. Cover the cake with foil after the first hour to prevent the top over-browning.
- The cake is ready when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean or with a slight crumb. Remember though that there is a layer of marzipan running through the middle so don’t mistake this as underdone cake batter.
- Remove from the oven, leave for 20 minutes in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar if you like.
The nuts in the cake keep it moist for a few days as do the cherries and the marzipan layer.