Christmas Genoa Cake

Mary Berry's delectably moist and fruity cake is a wonderful alternative to traditional Christmas cake.

Christmas Genoa cake

By Mary Berry, BBC

Mary Berry's delectably moist and fruity cake is a wonderful alternative to traditional Christmas cake. 
It serves 12.


  • 350g/12oz red or natural (uncoloured) glacé cherries, rinsed, dried and cut into quarters
  • 225g/8oz tinned pineapple in pineapple juice, drained, dried and roughly chopped
  • 50g/2oz ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
  • 100g/3½oz blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 lemons, finely grated zest only
  • 350g/12oz sultanas
  • 250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g/9oz caster sugar
  • 5 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g/9oz self-raising flour75g/2½oz ground almonds
  • For the topping
  • small handful blanched whole almonds
  • small handful walnut halves
  • small handful red or natural (uncoloured) glacé cherries, halved
  • 50g/1¾oz whole orange peel (available from health-food shops), cut into pieces
  • 100g/3½oz apricot jam


  • Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Grease a deep, 23cm/9in round cake tin with butter, then line the base and sides with a double layer of baking parchment.
  • In a bowl, gently mix together the cherries, pineapple, apricots, almonds, lemon zest and sultanas until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Pour in the beaten eggs a little at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour to prevent the mixture from curdling and pulsing after each addition.
  • Carefully fold the remaining flour and ground almonds into the cake mixture using a metal spoon, then gently fold in the fruit and nut mixture until just combined.
  • Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface using a palette knife.
  • For the topping, decorate the cake with the blanched whole almonds, walnut halves, glacé cherry halves and orange peel.
  • Bake the cake in the oven for 2-2¼ hours, or until golden-brown on top and cooked through. (The cake is cooked through when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.) Cover the cake loosely with aluminium foil after one hour to prevent the top from becoming too dark.
  • Set the cake aside in its tin to cool for 30 minutes, then remove from the tin, peel the baking parchment away from the sides and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam in a small pan over a low heat, then strain through a fine sieve to remove any pieces of fruit. When the cake has cooled, brush the top all over with the warm apricot jam. Wrap a ribbon around the cake and tie with a bow, if desired, then serve.


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Cake Magazine: Christmas Genoa Cake
Christmas Genoa Cake
Mary Berry's delectably moist and fruity cake is a wonderful alternative to traditional Christmas cake.
Cake Magazine
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