Easter is edging closer and this cake is a classic...

Simnel Cake

Ingredients


Method

Mix all the dried fruits in a bowl with the liqueur and leave to stand for 1 hour.

Grease and line an 18cm cake tin with non-stick baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2.

Put the butter, sugar and ground ginger in a large bowl and beat well until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Stir in the flour and spices, then the dried fruit with any juices left in the bowl. Mix well.

Using about a quarter of the marzipan, make 11 oval balls, about the size of a mini egg, and set aside.

Shape half of the remaining marzipan into a ball and roll out onto a surface dusted with icing sugar to an 18cm circle. Spoon half the cake mixture into the tin and spread in an even layer. Lay the paste over the cake mixture, pressing it down gently. Spoon the remaining cake mixture on top and level.

Bake the cake for about 2 and a half hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

Transfer the cooled cake to a serving plate and brush the top with the apricot jam. Roll out the remaining marzipan as above and press down onto the top of the cake. Pinch decoratively around the edges. Arrange the marzipan balls on top, sticking them with a little apricot jam.

Finally, dust with icing sugar and serve.