Children will love helping you to make these – what a great Bank Holiday family activity!
225g unsalted butter
225g soft brown sugar
4 medium eggs, beaten
225g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
3tsp mixed spice
1tsp grated nutmeg
55g corn flour
115g glace cherries, chopped
55g ground almonds
1 lemon rind, grated
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until light in colour and fluffy in texture.
Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well each time some beaten egg is poured in. If the mixture looks as if it is curdling add a spoonful of flour and beat in well.
Stir in the dried fruit and the peel.
Sift the flour with the spices, corn flour and baking powder. Fold the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Add the brandy, a little at a time. Do not allow the mixture to become too wet even if this means leaving out a little of the brandy.
Spoon half of the mixture into a well greased 8 inch tin. Roll out the marzipan onto a board dusted with icing sugar. Roll out a circle of 7.75 inch diameter and place onto the smoothed cake mix in the tin. Cover with the rest of the cake mixture and bake at 170C° for about 2 1/2 hours. The cake should be firm to the touch and a golden brown colour.
Turn cake from tin and allow to cool on a wire cake rack.
Roll out the remaining marzipan and cut out an 8 inch circle. Stick this marzipan onto the top of the cake with a little melted apricot jam. Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 equal balls and use these to decorate the top of the cake.
Tie a decorative, traditionally yellow ribbon around the cake.