Mary Berry Genoa Cake Recipe

Mary Berry Genoa Cake
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 2 Hr 15 Mins Total Time: 2 Hr 45 Mins

Today, I’m going to share with you a delicious and easy recipe for Mary Berry Genoa Cake, a moist and fruity cake that is perfect for Christmas or any special occasion. This recipe is based on the one by Mary Berry, a famous British baker and cookbook author who is known for her simple and elegant cakes. I’ll show you how to make this cake step by step and give you some tips and tricks along the way. Let’s get started!

What is Genoa Cake?

Genoa cake is a type of fruit cake that originated in the Italian city of Genoa. It is similar to a traditional British fruit cake, but it has a lighter texture and a more delicate flavor. It is made with butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds, and a variety of dried and candied fruits and nuts. Some of the common ingredients are glacé cherries, pineapple, apricots, sultanas, and almonds. The cake is decorated with more fruits and nuts on top and brushed with apricot jam for a glossy finish.

Genoa cake is a wonderful alternative to the rich and dense Christmas cake, as it is lighter and more refreshing. It is also easier and faster to make, as it does not require soaking the fruits or maturing the cake for weeks. You can enjoy this cake as soon as it is cooled, or store it in an airtight container for up to a week.

What is Mary Berry’s Genoa Cake Recipe?

Mary Berry Genoa Cake Recipe is a delicious and easy recipe for a moist and fruity cake that is perfect for Christmas or any special occasion. It is based on the traditional Italian Genoa cake but with some modifications by Mary Berry, a famous British baker and cookbook author. The cake is made with butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds, and a variety of dried and candied fruits and nuts, such as glacé cherries, pineapple, apricots, sultanas, and almonds. The cake is decorated with more fruits and nuts on top and brushed with apricot jam for a glossy finish.

Why You Love this Recipe

This recipe stands out for several reasons:

  • Simplicity and Speed: Making this cake is straightforward and quick. Unlike traditional fruitcakes, there’s no need to soak the fruits or wait for the cake to mature.
  • Light and Refreshing: This cake offers a lighter, more delicate alternative to the typically rich and dense Christmas cakes.
  • Customizable: Feel free to experiment with different fruits and nuts based on your preferences and what’s available.
  • Appealing Presentation: Its golden, glossy appearance and vibrant decoration make it a visually appealing dessert.
  • Taste and Texture: Enjoy the moist, tender crumb paired with a delightful combination of sweet and fruity flavors.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Genoa Cake Recipe

To make this cake, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 175 g (6 oz) red or natural glacé cherries
  • 350 g (12 oz) tinned pineapple in pineapple juice
  • 100 g (4 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots
  • 100 g (4 oz) blanched almonds
  • 2 lemons
  • 275 g (10 oz) sultanas
  • 275 g (10 oz) unsalted butter
  • 275 g (10 oz) caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 275 g (10 oz) self-raising flour
  • 75 g (3 oz) ground almonds
  • 4 tablespoons apricot jam

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Genoa Cake Recipe

To make this cake, you will need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the cake tin

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C Fan/Gas 3, and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Grease a deep, 23cm/9in a round cake tin with butter, then line the base and sides with a double layer of baking parchment. This will help to prevent the cake from sticking to the tin and also make it easier to remove the cake from the tin later.
  • Cut the baking parchment slightly larger than the tin, and fold the excess over the edges of the tin. This will create a collar that will prevent the cake from overflowing or burning on the sides.

Step 2: Prepare the fruits and nuts

  • In a large bowl, gently mix together the cherries, pineapple, apricots, chopped almonds, lemon zest, and sultanas until well combined. This will be the fruit and nut mixture that will go into the cake batter.
  • Set the bowl aside, and prepare the fruits and nuts for decorating the top of the cake. Arrange the whole almonds, walnut halves, cherry halves, and orange peel pieces on a large plate or tray, and set them aside.

Step 3: Make the cake batter

  • In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes, and you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure even mixing. You can also use an electric mixer or a wooden spoon to do this, but it will take longer and require more effort.
  • 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. The mixture should be smooth and creamy, and have a pale yellow color.
  • Carefully fold the remaining flour and the ground almonds into the cake batter using a metal spoon, and mix thoroughly until blended. The batter should be thick and sticky, and hold its shape when dropped from the spoon.
  • Gently fold in the fruit and nut mixture until just combined, and make sure that the fruits and nuts are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Do not overmix the batter, as this will make the cake tough and dense.

Step 4: Bake the cake

  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and level the surface using a palette knife or a spatula. The batter should fill the tin about three-quarters full, and leave some space for the cake to rise.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with the fruits and nuts that you prepared earlier, and press them lightly into the batter. You can arrange them in any pattern or design that you like, or just scatter them randomly over the cake.
  • Bake the cake for about 2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake should be golden and firm on the top, and the fruits and nuts should be slightly caramelized.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool slightly in the tin, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is runny and smooth. Strain the jam through a fine sieve to remove any lumps or bits of fruit.
  • Brush the warm jam over the top of the cake, covering the fruits and nuts evenly. This will give the cake a shiny and sticky finish, and also help to seal the fruits and nuts on the cake.
  • Enjoy your Genoa cake as it is, or serve it with some whipped cream or custard for a more indulgent treat. You can also wrap the cake in foil and store it in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Easy Mary Berry Genoa Cake Recipe
Mary Berry Genoa Cake

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Genoa Cake?

This versatile cake pairs well with various accompaniments, making it suitable for different occasions:

  • As Is: Enjoy the cake on its own to appreciate its rich flavors and textures.
  • With Whipped Cream or Custard: For an indulgent experience, serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a side of smooth custard.
  • Fresh Fruits: Accompany with fresh fruits like berries, oranges, or grapes for a refreshing and balanced dessert option.
Mary Berry Genoa Cake
Mary Berry Genoa Cake

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Genoa Cake

To make this cake perfectly, you should follow these tips and tricks:

  • Rinse, dry, and cut the glacé cherries into quarters before adding them to the cake batter, to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
  • Drain, dry, and chop the tinned pineapple roughly before adding it to the cake batter, to avoid making the cake too wet or soggy.
  • Snip the dried apricots into small pieces before adding them to the cake batter, to ensure even distribution and bite-sized pieces.
  • Chop the blanched almonds roughly before adding them to the cake batter, to add some crunch and texture to the cake.
  • Grate the lemon zest finely before adding it to the cake batter, to infuse the cake with a subtle and fresh lemon flavor.
  • Add the eggs gradually to the butter and sugar mixture, along with a spoonful of flour, to prevent the mixture from curdling and splitting.
  • Fold the flour and the ground almonds gently into the cake batter, using a metal spoon, to avoid overmixing and deflating the batter.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with the fruits and nuts before baking, and press them lightly into the batter, to make the cake look more attractive and prevent the fruits and nuts from falling off.
  • Line the cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, and fold the excess over the edges of the tin, to prevent the cake from sticking to the tin, and also to protect the cake from burning or overflowing.
  • Bake the cake at a low temperature and for a long time, to ensure even baking and browning, and to avoid drying out or cracking the cake.
  • Test the cake for doneness by inserting a skewer into the center, and checking if it comes out clean, to avoid underbaking or overbaking the cake.
  • Let the cake cool slightly in the tin, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely, to prevent the cake from collapsing or breaking.
  • Warm the apricot jam and strain it before brushing it over the top of the cake, to give the cake a shiny and sticky finish, and to seal the fruits and nuts on the cake.

Variations of Mary Berry Genoa Cake

Personalize this cake by trying different ingredients:

  • Fruits: Swap apricots, pineapple, or sultanas with cranberries, dates, figs, or prunes for a variety of flavors and colors.
  • Nuts: Use pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts instead of almonds or walnuts to introduce different textures.
  • Flavorings: Replace lemon zest with orange zest, lime zest, or a hint of vanilla extract for a unique twist in aroma and taste.
  • Glazes: Experiment with marmalade, honey, or maple syrup as alternatives to apricot jam for varied sweetness and finishes.

How do I store Mary Berry Genoa Cake Leftovers?

To store the leftovers of this cake, you should:

  • Wrap the cake in foil or cling film, or place it in an airtight container, to prevent the cake from drying out or going stale.
  • Store the cake at room temperature for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, to keep the cake fresh and moist.
  • Label the cake with the date of baking, to keep track of the shelf life of the cake.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Genoa Cake Leftovers?

To reheat the leftovers of this cake, you should:

  • Cut the cake into slices, and place them on a baking sheet, to ensure even heating and browning.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4, and warm the cake slices for about 10 minutes, or until heated through, to restore the cake to its original texture and flavor.
  • Serve the cake slices warm, or let them cool slightly, to enjoy the cake as you prefer.

Nutrition value per slice (based on 12 slices):

  • Calories: 635 kcal
  • Fat: 28 g
  • Carbohydrates: 89 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Sugar: 64 g
  • Sodium: 133 mg

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