Cherry and Marzipan Cake with Orange blossom Syrup and toasted Pistachios

Serves 12 – 14
Cherry and Marzipan Cake
  • 8              oz butter, at room tempreture
  • 6              oz golden brown sugar
  •                 zest of 1 lemon
  • 2              tsp orange blossom water
  • 4              large eggs
  • 4              oz white flour
  • 3              oz ground almonds
  • 2              tsp baking powder
  • 5              oz marzipan, chopped into 1/2″ cubes,
  •                 tossed lightly in flour
  • 12            oz cherries, stoned and tossed lightly in flour
  • 2              oz shelled, unsaltd pistachios
  •                 Icing sugar to dust

For the syrup

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Splash of orange blossom water
  • 1 tbsp golden caster suger



  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease and line an 8″ springform cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl with sugar and lemon zest for 3-5 minutes until pale and fluffy, then beat in the orange blossom water.
  4. Beat in the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition, then beat in orange blossom water.
  5. Beat in the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
  6. Fold in flour, almonds and baking powder.
  7. Fold in half the marzipan pieces and half the cherries, then transfer to the prepared tin and poke in the remaining marzipan and cherries, making sure they’re just covered by the cake mixture.
  8. Transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the heat to 290 degrees and bake for 50-60 minutes more. Check after 30 min; if it’s looking dark, cover the top with foil – not before, as opening the door will make the cake sink. It is cooked when a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
  9. About 5 minutes defore the cake has finished cooking, make the syrup.
  10. Put all the ingredients in a pan and heat gently until the sugar has melted.
  11. When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven, poke holes all over the top with a skewer and drizzle over the syrup.
  12. Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Don’t leave to cool on the base of the springform or the bottom will be soggy.
  13. When ready to serve, roughly chop the pistachios, scatter over the top of the cake and dust with icing sugar

The cake will keep in an airight container for 4 days and tastes best the day after you make it.


When adding heavy ingredients to cake batter (such as the marzipan and cherries,)tossing them in flour first helps stop them sinking, as does reserving half of them to push into the top of the mixture.

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