Wednesday, December 24

Christmas Genoa Cake

Merry Christmas everyone!

It's Christmas Eve and I thought I'd share with you a little recipe as the big day is finally on the horizon.

Unfortunately, I've been ill since getting back from university last week (hence the lack of posts), I think I didn't realise how exhausted I was and just collapsed as soon as I stopped. Pretty crazy huh?

Anyhow, I'm finally feeling a bit more with the plot and decided to whack out the cake tins with my grandmother after getting inspiration for the queen herself, Mary Berry.

(*Cough*.... Mary's my idol and aspiration to be as a grandmother!)

I'm a fan of a regular Christmas cake, but sometimes it can be pretty stodgy and rich. I saw Mary baking her 'light Christmas Genoa Cake' and thought it was well worth a try as a compromise.

And, I'm converted. This cake is light, fruity, flavoursome and has a great crunch from the nuts placed on top. It's pretty too, which means it could easily be placed on a table to wow your friends and family.

Oh Mary, you've got a cracking recipe here haven't you?!

Yep, I'm on my third slice already today... It goes smashingly well with a steaming cup of tea and Elf on the TV.

Plus, the older the cake gets, the more delicious it tastes... Winning!

But I've enclosed it below too:

- 350g glacé cherries, rinsed, drained, dried and cut in half/quarters

- 225g tinned pineapple in pineapple juice, drained, dried and roughly chopped

- 50g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped

- 100g blanched almonds, roughly chopped

- Zest of two lemons

- 350g sultanas

- 250g  unsalted butter, softened

- 250g caster sugar

- 5 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten

- 250g self raising flour

- 75g ground almonds

(For the top: Mary used whole orange peel, glacé cherries, walnuts and some more almonds. I just used whatever nuts we had left over in the cupboard, i.e. walnuts, pecans & almonds)

- 100g apricot jam

Line a 23/9in round cake tin with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 160C.

Finely chop up the blanched almonds and apricots and pop into a bowl with the sultanas.

Rinse and thoroughly dry the pineapple & glacé cherries as much as possible (this stops them from sinking.)

And the lemon zest and the dried pineapple/cherries to the apricots, nuts and sultanas and set to one side.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

 Add the beaten egg, a little at a time, adding a spoonful of flour to prevent the mixture from curdling after each addition.

Carefully fold in the remaining flour and ground almonds until just combined, then tip in and mix in the dried fruit.

(I did have the bonus of a rather amazing sunset in front of me too....)

Spoon the batter into the cake tin and smooth over.

Using whatever nuts/fruits you have left over, make a funky little pattern on top.

 Cook in the oven for 2hrs or a little more (mine took 2.15 mins), but cover the cake with tin foil half way through to stop it from burning.

Once cool, heat up the apricot jam in the microwave and spread over the cake to give a delicious shine. Use a pretty ribbon to decorate it around the edges and serve in thick wedges.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope you all stuff yourselves full of turkey and spend it surrounded by your rather tipsy families.

Go nuts, it's Christmas after all.


  1. This looks incredible! So pretty and it looks rather tasty too. You can never go wrong with a Mary Berry recipe! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

  2. Emily that looks amazing!!!
    You should definitely try to go to the Great British Bake Off, and then you could meet Mary Berry!! How cool would that be?!

    {Teffy's Perks} X

  3. Mmm, looks good! I do prefer a lighter cake - and whilst I like traditional Christmas cake, i find the icing can be a bit heavy. I shall bookmark this for next year haha!

  4. I, too, thought this is the cake to try. It was such a success--even people who don't like Christmas cake like this one! I made some changes to the fruit mix that I think made it extra good. Lidl sell a pack of dried tropical fruits and a pack of dried berries and cherries. I substituted about half of the raisins for a mix of these fruits and I'll never go back to ordinary fruit cake again!

  5. Christmas cake is easily my favourite. I wish it was acceptable to eat all year long - I really would! Your cakes never fail to impress me Emily. So talented!

    Katie <3


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