Savor Tradition: Genoa Cake Recipe & Baking Tips

Master the classic Genoa cake with our recipe. Nutty, fruity, and irresistible. Elevate your baking skills and savor a slice of tradition today!

Why is it called a Genoa cake?

A Genoa cake is named after the city of Genoa, which is located in northern Italy. Genoa is known for its rich culinary traditions and contributions to Italian cuisine. The cake likely gets its name because it is inspired by or associated with the flavors and ingredients commonly found in Genoa or because it reflects a traditional style of cake-making from that region.

Genoa cake typically refers to a type of fruit cake that is made with candied fruits and nuts. Fruitcakes have a long history and have been made in various forms in different cultures for centuries. The name “Genoa cake” specifically points to the style or ingredients used in the cake that might be reminiscent of the region’s culinary heritage.

Genoa Cake Recipe

What is the difference between a fruit cake and a Genoa cake?

Both fruitcake and Genoa cake are types of cakes that contain candied fruits and nuts, but there are some differences between them, mainly in terms of ingredients, preparation, and regional associations.


  1. Ingredients: Fruitcake is a broad category of cakes that contain dried and candied fruits, nuts, and often spices. The specific types and amounts of fruits and nuts can vary widely.
  2. Variations: There are many variations of fruitcakes, and they can include a mix of ingredients like raisins, currants, candied citrus peel, cherries, almonds, walnuts, and more.
  3. Soaking: Fruitcakes are often soaked in alcohol (such as brandy, rum, or whiskey) after baking, which helps preserve the cake and infuse it with flavor. This also contributes to their characteristic moist and dense texture.
  4. Tradition: Fruitcakes are often associated with Christmas and holiday celebrations in many Western cultures. They can be made well in advance and stored for a long time due to their high sugar and alcohol content.

Genoa Cake:

  1. Ingredients: Genoa cake specifically refers to a type of fruitcake that is made with candied fruits and almonds. The main difference lies in the emphasis on almonds rather than a wide variety of nuts. The cake is often flavored with lemon zest and sometimes liqueurs like Amaretto.
  2. Origin: As the name suggests, Genoa cake is believed to be inspired by the culinary traditions of Genoa, Italy. It is associated with the use of almonds and citrus flavors that are prevalent in the region’s cuisine.
  3. Regional Influence: The name “Genoa cake” implies a certain style of fruitcake that might be more aligned with the flavors and ingredients of Genoa. The use of almonds and lemon zest, as well as the absence of strong alcoholic soaking, can distinguish it from other fruitcakes.
  4. Texture: Genoa cakes are typically lighter and less dense than some traditional fruitcakes. They often have a more delicate crumb and might be less rich in terms of the alcohol content.
Genoa Cake Recipe

Best Genoa Cake Recipe


For the Genoa Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups mixed dried fruit (raisins, currants, chopped dates, candied peel)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk

For the Almond Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

For Decoration (Optional):

  • Sliced almonds
  • Candied cherries or citrus peel


Step 1: Preparing the Genoa Cake Batter

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease and line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the mixed dried fruit. Add a tablespoon of flour and toss to coat the fruits. This helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the remaining flour and baking powder over the mixture and gently fold until just combined.
  6. Fold in the floured dried fruit mixture and almond extract until evenly distributed.
  7. If the batter seems a bit thick, add a tablespoon of milk to achieve a moist consistency.

Step 2: Baking the Genoa Cake

  1. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan, spreading it evenly.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  3. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 3: Preparing the Almond Glaze

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding more milk or powdered sugar as needed.
  2. The glaze should be thick yet pourable.

Step 4: Glazing and Decorating the Genoa Cake

  1. Place the cooled cake on a serving plate or cake stand.
  2. Drizzle the almond glaze over the top of the cake, allowing it to flow down the sides naturally.
  3. If desired, decorate the glazed cake with sliced almonds and candied cherries or citrus peel for an elegant touch.

Step 5: Savoring the Classic Flavors Slice into your Genoa Cake and savor the harmonious blend of dried fruits and almond essence. This cake is a perfect companion to your tea or coffee time, offering a glimpse into the culinary heritage of comforting flavors.


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Savor Tradition: Genoa Cake Recipe & Baking Tips
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