It wasn't until I started to write about this recipe for an Apricot and Marzipan Cake that I realised the basic cake batter was almost identical to the generic 'quick' cake recipe I've been using for about 30 years.
The part of the cake which makes it quick and easy is that the butter is rubbed into the flour, then the rest of the ingredients are usually simply mixed in. This version was a little different, as the chopped marzipan was sprinkled onto layers of batter in the cake tin, to keep the pieces intact.
As usual, there were a few deviations from the recipe along the way; nothing that drastically changed the cake though. The main change was to substitute the sultanas with dried cranberries, and to add the cranberries into the cake's name - I really love the combination of apricots and cranberries. The next change was to bake the cake in a round 8"(20cm) diameter tin, and to top with some flaked almonds. Then I glazed the cake with a little honey after baking, rather than apricot jam - simply because I had honey but no jam.
Because the marzipan was chopped into quite large pieces, there was a really intense almond hit when the cake was eaten - I think this is one of the best ways of getting a strong almond flavour into a cake, especially if you can get a marzipan with a high almond content, as this cuts down on the additional sweetness too.
I'm entering this cake into the AlphaBakes challenge this month, as the randomly chosen letter to use in our baking is 'A'. I could have doubled the 'A' ingredients by calling this an apricot and almond cake, but using marzipan gives a different flavour and texture to a cake, and there are some odd people who like almonds, but not marzipan, so I don't want to mislead anyone!
Alphabakes (rules here) is co-hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes and Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker. Ros is hosting this month, so she picked the letter 'A' and will be posting the round up at the end of the month.