Marsala Raisin and Almond Cake

By Anna, 29 October, 2009 7:24 pm


The original recipe from ‘Olive’ magazine uses Pedro Ximenez sherry; it’s an absolutely delicious Sherry with a very raisin-y taste, but I didn’t have any on hand; instead, my larder boasted a big bottle of Marsala and frankly, what is there to dislike about that?

A boozy cake, but boozy without being rasping or obnoxious.
This cake isn’t the lashed-up lout who pushes over your dustbin on a Saturday night and then vomits over your Winter pansies, no, no. It is the elderly Aunt who, on a Sunday lunchtime visit, has a revealing whiff of something floral and fortified about her, who wears unusual jewellery and asks you about boys you like.  Cool, elegant and engaging. Most excellent.

Soak 200g raisins in 100ml Marsala for around an hour to allow them to plump up a little.

Preheat the oven to GM4/180C/350F and butter and line a 9″ springform tin.

Beat 250g unsalted butter and 250g caster sugar until pale and fluffy (high five!)


Beat 4 eggs with a fork


and painfully slowly add them to the mixture. Trickle, trickle.


Add 200g ground almonds and fold them in


Then add 100g polenta and 100g self-raising flour and thoroughly fold that in too.


Finally, add the raisins and their soaking liquid to the mixture. Thoroughly fold them in to evenly disperse them.


Pour/spoon the mixture into the tin


Bake in the oven for around 1 hour. Check after 50 mins, just in case. The cake should feel firm and springy to the touch.

Pierce the top of the cake relentlessly with a fine skewer, or my stabby instrument of choice, the toothpick.

Evenly pour/spoon another 150ml Marsala over the top and allow the cake to cool.



Once cooled, dust with icing sugar to serve.


I’ll show you a slice once we cut it. Only have to wait a day, only have to wait a day, I wonder whether Ian’s Mum would mind there being a slice missing… I mean, it’s in the interest of my reader(s)… get a grip, Anna…one day!


Marsala Raisin and Almond Cake

PRINT THIS RECIPE (opens in a new window)

(adapted from an ‘Olive’ magazine recipe)

200g raisins
100ml + 150ml Marsala
250g butter
250g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
200g ground almonds
100g polenta
100g self-raising flour

icing sugar to dust

Soak the raisins in 100ml Marsala until they have plumped a little – about 30 mins to 1 hr.

Preheat oven to GM4/180C/350F
Butter and line a 9″ springform tin

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale. Add the eggs, very slowly.

Add the ground almonds, then polenta, then the flour; folding each addition in.
Add the raisins and the soaking liquid. Fold in thoroughly to evenly distribute.

Pour/spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for around 50-60 mins until firm and springy to the touch.

Prick all over the top of the cake with a cocktail stick and evenly spoon the remaining 150ml Marsala over the top and allow to cool.
Dust with icing sugar to serve.

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