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Simnel cake is a fruit cake served at Easter time that features a layer of marzipan hidden within and extra marzipan on top. Christian tradition states the cake should be topped with 11 balls of marzipan (to represent the disciples, minus Judas), but if you want a more secular decoration, then it seems a shame not to take advantage of the modelling possibilities of marzipan to create rabbits, chicks or other springtime characters. This delicious and not-too-rich vegan and gluten-free version has a soft and slightly chewy crumb. It is best the day after it’s made.

Makes 10 slices
50g glace cherries
150g raisins
50g sultanas
2 tsp mixed spice
500g white marzipan
50g dairy-free sunflower margarine
50g dark muscovado sugar
3 tbsp marmalade
1 banana
100g gram (chickpea) flour
50g ground almonds
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
100ml apple juice
1 tbsp apricot jam
Icing sugar, for dusting

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