Mary's Christmas Genoa Cake Recipe | PBS Food

Mary’s Christmas Genoa Cake

This Christmas genoa cake recipe by Mary Berry is featured in the Season 1 Masterclass: Christmas episode.


Yield: 1 cake

Occasion: ,


  • 350g red or natural glacé cherries
  • 225g can of pineapple in natural juice, drained
  • 50g ready-to-eat dried apricots
  • 100g blanched almonds
  • finely grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 350g sultanas
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • To decorate:
  • blanched whole almonds
  • walnut halves
  • red or natural glacé cherries
  • 50g whole orange peel (available from health food shops)
  • 100g apricot jam
  • colored ribbon


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325F. Grease a 23cm deep round cake tin then line the base and sides with a double layer of baking parchment.
  2. Cut the cherries into quarters, put in a sieve and rinse under running water then drain well. Drain and roughly chop the pineapple, then dry the pineapple and cherries very thoroughly on kitchen paper. Snip the apricots into pieces. Roughly chop the almonds. Place the prepared fruit and nuts in a bowl with the grated lemon rind and sultanas and gently mix together.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a food mixer unit light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, with a spoonful of flour to prevent the mixture curdling. Fold in the flour and ground almonds. Lightly fold in the fruit and nuts then turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Level the surface and decorate the top with blanched whole almonds, walnut halves, halved glacé cherries and pieces of orange peel.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 2 1⁄4 hours or until golden brown. A skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Cover the cake loosely with foil after 1 hour to prevent the top becoming too dark.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack. Warm the apricot jam over a low heat then pass through a fine sieve. Brush the warm apricot jam over the top of the cake and wrap ribbon around the sides.


Note: This recipe contains U.K. measurements and may require conversions to U.S. measurements. It has also not been professionally tested.
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