Genoa cake
Genoa cake (supermarket own-brand with few cherries)
Alternative namespandolce genovese
TypeFruit cake
Place of originItaly
Region or stateGenoa
Main ingredientsSultanas/raisins or currants, glacé cherries, flour, eggs, butter, sugar
Food energy
(per 100 g serving)
340 kcal (1424 kJ)[1]
Nutritional value
(per 100 g serving)
Carbohydrate59 g

Genoa cake (or simply genoa)[2] is a fruit cake consisting of sultanas (golden-colored raisins), currants or raisins, glacé cherries, almonds, and candied orange peel or essence, cooked in a batter of flour, eggs, butter and sugar.[1][3]


Although the name Genoa cake is mainly used in the UK, where recipes for it have been around since the 19th century,[4] it is a variant of the pandolce (Italian: [panˈdoltʃe]; Ligurian: pandoçe [paŋˈduːse]; lit.'sweet bread') cake which originated in 16th-century Genoa as a Christmas cake. Unlike Genoa cake, traditional pandolce includes pine nuts as a major ingredient and uses yeast as its raising agent, which requires several hours to rise, like bread.[5] This original form is now known as pandolce alto ('deep pandolce'), whilst a simpler variant which uses baking powder is known as pandolce basso ('flat pandolce') and is essentially the same as the Genoa cake sold in the UK, with a moist but crumbly texture.[6][7]

The term Genoa cake is also sometimes used to refer to two other Genoa-related cakes, neither of which are fruit cakes: génoise cake, a light sponge cake,[8] and pain de Gênes ('Genoa bread'), a dense almond cake.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Ingredients and nutritional analysis of commercially made Genoa Cake at Tesco supermarket
  2. ^ "genoa". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021.
  3. ^ Genoa Cake recipe BBC Good Food Magazine
  4. ^ Recipe 154 in The Bread Biscuit Bakers and Sugar-Boiler's Assistant by Robert Wells (London, 1890)[1]
  5. ^ Gourmet Liguria
  6. ^ Pandolce Basso Genovese Archived 2013-10-15 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Pandolce Christmas cake
  8. ^ Gourmet Britain Genoa cake recipe
  9. ^ Cook's Info: Genoa Cake