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More Nigella recipes

Marzipan Loaf Cake

by . Featured in COOK EAT REPEAT
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Introduction

I love a plain cake. There is something uniquely soothing about the simple, sweet comfort it offers. And there's a modesty about a plain cake, too: it doesn't draw attention to itself, or seek to impress with razzle-dazzle. It's there to be sliced as needed, always delivering more than it promises.

It also serves as a proper pudding. Just arrange slices of the cake on a non-stick baking sheet, and warm up in a 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F oven for 3-4 minutes a side, until caramelised and golden. Arrange a couple of slices on each person's plate, add some fresh raspberries and a spoldge of creme fraiche (and take more of each out to the table); the sharpness of the berries and tang of the cream are perfect with the toasty cake, which, when hot, tastes like a rich, almondy brioche.

Perhaps I should tell you that I hesitated before calling this Marzipan Loaf Cake, if only because I know from experience that there are vociferous marzipan haters out there who nonetheless, and to their gratified surprise, adore this cake.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I love a plain cake. There is something uniquely soothing about the simple, sweet comfort it offers. And there's a modesty about a plain cake, too: it doesn't draw attention to itself, or seek to impress with razzle-dazzle. It's there to be sliced as needed, always delivering more than it promises.

It also serves as a proper pudding. Just arrange slices of the cake on a non-stick baking sheet, and warm up in a 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F oven for 3-4 minutes a side, until caramelised and golden. Arrange a couple of slices on each person's plate, add some fresh raspberries and a spoldge of creme fraiche (and take more of each out to the table); the sharpness of the berries and tang of the cream are perfect with the toasty cake, which, when hot, tastes like a rich, almondy brioche.

Perhaps I should tell you that I hesitated before calling this Marzipan Loaf Cake, if only because I know from experience that there are vociferous marzipan haters out there who nonetheless, and to their gratified surprise, adore this cake.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Marzipan Loaf Cake
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Yields: 8-10 slices

Metric Cups
  • 150 grams marzipan (white or yellow) or almond paste, at room temperature
  • 125 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 75 grams plain flour (gluten-free if necessary)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 5 ounces marzipan (white or yellow) or almond paste, at room temperature
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon soft unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free if necessary)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 170℃/150℃ Fan/325°F and drop a loaf-tin liner into a 1lb (450g) loaf tin, or line the bottom with parchment and butter the sides.
  2. The easiest way to make this is to put everything (tearing the marzipan into lumps first) into the processor and blitz until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a couple of times.
  3. If you don't have a processor, then I advise you to use almond paste rather than marzipan and beat it together with the butter and vanilla until throughly combined, then beat in the sugar. Stir the flour, salt, baking powder (though if you're not making this is a processor, use just ¾ teaspoon) and cardamom together. Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, one at a time, adding a third of the dried ingredients after each egg. Carry on beating when everything's in, to make sure you have a coherent batter with no lumps of almond paste visible.
  4. Pour and scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes (adding a loose covering of foil after 30 to stop it browning any further) or until the cake is beginning to come away from the sides and a cake tester comes out clean. It runckles a little on top as it cools.
  1. Heat the oven to 170℃/150℃ Fan/325°F and drop a loaf-tin liner into a 1lb (450g) loaf tin, or line the bottom with parchment and butter the sides.
  2. The easiest way to make this is to put everything (tearing the marzipan into lumps first) into the processor and blitz until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a couple of times.
  3. If you don't have a processor, then I advise you to use almond paste rather than marzipan and beat it together with the butter and vanilla until throughly combined, then beat in the sugar. Stir the flour, salt, baking powder (though if you're not making this is a processor, use just ¾ teaspoon) and cardamom together. Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, one at a time, adding a third of the dried ingredients after each egg. Carry on beating when everything's in, to make sure you have a coherent batter with no lumps of almond paste visible.
  4. Pour and scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes (adding a loose covering of foil after 30 to stop it browning any further) or until the cake is beginning to come away from the sides and a cake tester comes out clean. It runckles a little on top as it cools.

Additional Information

STORE:
Store in airtight container in cool place for up to 7 days.

FREEZE:
Tightly wrap whole loaf or slices in double layer of food wrap, then wrap loaf in layer of foil or put slices in airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months (loaf) or 1 month (slices). Unwrap and defrost on wire rack at room temperature.

STORE:
Store in airtight container in cool place for up to 7 days.

FREEZE:
Tightly wrap whole loaf or slices in double layer of food wrap, then wrap loaf in layer of foil or put slices in airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months (loaf) or 1 month (slices). Unwrap and defrost on wire rack at room temperature.

Tell us what you think

What 1 Other has said

  • Absolutely delicious! Just what I was looking for in a simple cake (loaf). I made Almond Paste to use for various cookie recipes, but had a lot to use up. Most Almond Cake recipes I came across called for ground almonds, not almond paste. I was so happy to find this recipe. So simple to just throw everything into the food processor - and out comes this moist, almondy beautiful loaf cake with the texture of velvet. Will definitely make again and again.

    Posted by Plguss on 28th January 2022
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