Share this with your friends

Genoa Cake

The whole Small City team headed out to my house a few weeks back to make the most of the glorious sunshine and enjoy a BBQ and a few drinks. We used this opportunity not only to scoff loads of food and slurp down plenty wine but having us all together in one place was the perfect time to take some pics for our next food and drink magazine and create a BBQ feature - all in the name of work, eh! 

Being married to a cake extraordinaire, Rhona rocked up with big G hidden behind a stack of big white boxes full of tasty sweet treats! This delicious Genoa cake was one of the big hits on the night and I had to snap these pics pretty quickly as it didn't last very long!

With cherries, pineapple, apricots and sultanas, this delectable cake is bursting full of sweet fruity flavour.  Topped with crunchy blanched almonds and slathered in a shiny, sticky glaze, it's not going to go unnoticed and is sure to be the star of the show wherever it may be.

Thanks to the master of all things sweet, Graeme Maxwell from Maxwell's Desserts, for giving us his delicious recipe and making us all fall in love with the world of sweet things all over again everytime we meet! 

Preparation Time:
60 minutes
Cooking Time:
2 hours
Serves: 12


  • 350g/12oz red or natural (uncoloured) glace 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/3.5oz 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/2.5oz ground almonds
  • For the Topping
  • small handful blanched whole almonds
  • small handful walnut halves
  • small handful red or natural (uncoloured) glace cherries, halved
  • 50g/1.75oz whole orange peel (available from health-food shops), cut into pieces
  • 100g/3.5oz apricot jam


    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.