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Cherry and Marzipan Traybake

This cake has lots of Christmas flavours. I have never really loved marzipan but when I was a child it was always a favourite with my mum. She loves marzipan and raspberry ruffles  (I do love raspberry ruffles). Anyway, last year when I was recipe developing for Whats Cooking I made a Simnel cake and realised that I really like it when it's baked.

For the sponge


320g Stork/unsalted butter, softened
270g sugar
320g self-raising flour
5 eggs
150g chilled marzipan  grated 
30g glaze cherries halves

For the icing

1 tbsp amaretto syrup 
Juice of a small lemon or half a large
150-200g Icing sugar
A handful of toasted almonds
10 Glaze cherries quartered 

feeds 10-12

You will also need a 28 x 22cm tin, greased and lined with baking parchment.

Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/gas mark 3.

Tip all of the cake ingredients, except for the cherries, into the bowl of a free-standing machine and beat for 2 minutes until smooth. If you don’t have a free-standing machine, you can use an electric hand-held mixer. 

Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and spread level using a palette knife, now stud with the cherry halves. 

Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until well risen, golden and when a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. You may need to cover with foil half way through the bake.

Remove the cake from the oven, cool in the tin for 10 mins the completely on a wire rack. 

Mix the icing sugar together with the Amaretto syrup, juice of a lemon and a little water, to a thick paste. Drizzle over the cooled cake with the back of a spoon, sprinkle over the toasted almonds and chopped cherries.