Bakewell Sponge Cake

It’s a Bakewell tart, in cake form! What’s not to love?

“Here, all the lovely flavours of a Bakewell sponge pudding come together as a cake,” say the masters at Leiths Cookery School. “If you don’t like marzipan, leave it out altogether, and replace the almond extract with a few drops of vanilla extract to create a raspberry ripple sponge instead.”

(Serves 8-10)

Oil, to grease
100g white marzipan
4 eggs, at room temperature
110g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
1/2–1tsp bitter almond extract, to taste
170g self-raising flour
50g flaked almonds

For the raspberry purée:
300g fresh raspberries
2tbsp Framboise syrup

To finish:
Icing sugar, to dust

Bakewell sponge cake from Leiths How To Cook Cake by Leith's School of Food and Wine (Quadrille/Peter Cassidy/PA)


1. To make the purée, bring the raspberries and Framboise syrup to the boil in a small saucepan over a low heat. Bubble vigorously for four to six minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture looks quite thick and ‘jammy’. Pass through a sieve into a bowl while still hot, and leave to cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, to make the sponge, grease the cake tin and line the base with a disc of baking parchment. Heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

3. Cut the marzipan into 1.5cm dice and set aside. Break the eggs into a small bowl and, using a fork, beat lightly to break them up.

4. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium bowl, using an electric whisk, until pale, light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar in several additions, beating well between each one (five or six additions will do).

5. Add the almond extract and diced marzipan, folding them into the mixture using a large metal spoon or a spatula. Sift the flour into the bowl and carefully fold it in, trying not to beat any air out of the mixture.

6. Drizzle the cooled raspberry purée over the sponge mixture and fold it in quickly and very lightly, so that it creates a marbled effect; do not be tempted to over-mix, or you will lose the rippled appearance in the cooked cake.

7. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level it out with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the surface and lightly press them into the mixture using your fingertips.

8. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 50–60 minutes, or until well risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

9. Remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10–15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack. Peel off the lining paper and leave to cool completely. Before serving, dust generously with icing sugar.

This wonderful recipe is from Leiths How To Cook Cakes by Leiths School of Food and Wine

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