Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Christmas Genoa cake

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Makes 1 x 23cm/9in cake
Dietary Vegetarian
From The Great British Bake Off
Make this delectably moist and fruity cake as an alternative to traditional Christmas cake. It serves 12.


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/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.

  2. In a bowl, gently mix together the cherries, pineapple, apricots, almonds, lemon zest and sultanas until well combined. Set aside.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface using a palette knife.

  6. For the topping, decorate the cake with the blanched whole almonds, walnut halves, glacé cherry halves and orange peel.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.


  • 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 flour
  • 75g/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

Shopping List

Christmas Genoa cake

Fruit and vegetables

Tins, packets and jars

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled


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