Wedding cakes

Cherry and marzipan cake with orange blossom syrup and toasted pistachios

On Saturday I posted an interview with the lovely Rebecca Smith, Deputy Food Editor at ‘Delicious’ magazine. After the interview came her amazing cake recipe, but as the page was so long I think some people may have missed it, so here it is again in all it’s glory.

I baked the cake yesterday for a charity tea and cake afternoon my sister held in her garden. It really was delicious, but I LOVE marzipan so I would say that!

Cherry and marzipan cake 

(Taken from the August 2013 issue of Delicious magazine – out now) 

This is a very moist, dense cake – quite middle Eastern in character. It will keep well in a cool place, well wrapped for 3 days and is wonderful served for pudding with a dollop of honey sweetened Greek yogurt.

Cherry marzipan cake
photo:Maja Smend

Serves 12-14

Takes 25 minutes to make, 1 hour 10 -1 hour 20 minutes to cook, plus cooling

Freeze the finished cake without the pistachio topping, well wrapped in cling film for 1 month. Defrost thoroughly, then garnish and serve.

Know how If you’re adding anything heavy to cake batter, (like the cherries and marzipan in this cake) tossing them in flour helps to stop them sinking. Pushing half into the top of the mixture also helps them to stay more evenly spaced.

  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 185g caster sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp orange blossom water
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150g marzipan, chopped into 1cm square chunks, tossed lightly in flour
  • 300g cherries, stoned, quartered, patted dry and tossed lightly in flour
  • 50g pistachios, toasted
  • icing sugar, to dust

for the syrup

  • juice 1 orange
  • splash orange blossom water
  • 1tbsp caster sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 170ºC/fan 150ºC/gas 31/2. Lightly oil and bottom line a 20cm springform cake tin, wrap a doubled up sheet of baking parchment around the outside and tie in place with string. This will protect the sides of the cake while it’s cooking. Set aside. Beat the butter with the sugar and orange zest for 3 to 5 minutes until pale and fluffy, then beat in the orange blossom water.
  2. Beat the eggs in one by one beating well after each addition, then stir through the flour, almonds and baking powder, with a pinch of salt. Stir through half the marzipan pieces and cherries, then transfer to the prepared cake tin and poke in the remaining marzipan and cherries, making sure they’re just covered with cake mix. Place in the middle of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 160ºC/fan 140ºC/gas 3 and bake for a further 60 minutes. Cover the top with a piece of foil after 30 minutes if it’s getting too dark – not before as the cake will sink. It is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
  3. About 5 minutes before the cake has finished cooking, make the drizzle. Place the orange juice and orange blossom water with the sugar in a pan and heat gently until the sugar has melted. When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven, poke holes all over it and drizzle over the syrup. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Make sure the cake isn’t left to cool on the base of its tin or the bottom will be soggy. When ready to serve, roughly chop the pistachios, scatter over the top of the cake and dust with icing sugar.


All that’s left to say is thanks so much to Rebecca for taking the time to do the interview and for sharing this delicious recipe with us (Sorry no ‘Delicious’ pun intended!)


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EmmaMT from

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  1. Looks absolutely gorgeous – but I love Marzipan too, so no surprise!

    1. EmmaMT from says:

      Marzipan rocks!


  2. this sounds a lovely cake

  3. Jasline @ Foodie Baker says:

    the cake looks really moist and delicious!

    1. EmmaMT from says:

      It really is. I wish I had some right now but I think 3 slices yesterday was enough really!


      1. Jasline @ Foodie Baker says:

        I wish I can have a slice too! 😉

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