Lemon or orange marzipan cake

Lemon or orange marzipan cake

Lucy's Bakes
8-15 pieces
15 mins
Cooking time
55 mins
Jacqui Melville

I have cooked with marzipan (almond paste) for years – filled puff pastry with it to make instant Danish, put it under apples in an apple pie or tart as an instant frangipane and it works brilliantly. Recently, though, I have been a bit more adventurous and have started adding it to recipes for cakes and biscuits – the easiest way to get it into the mix like in this recipe is to grate it. So here is a delectable, sumptuous, very citrussy and very almondy afternoon tea cake – perfect with a cuppa or a very good coffee. I like my lemon/orange zest grated coarsely but you can decide if you prefer it grated finely.


Quantity Ingredient
3 lemons
or 2 large oranges
175g butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
3 eggs
250g self-raising flour, sifted
250g ready-made yellow or white marzipan, grated

For the icing

Quantity Ingredient
250g icing sugar, sifted
a few drops lemon juice, fresh or bottled


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Coarsely grate the lemon or orange zest then, using a serrated knife, remove the pith but not the membrane and chop the flesh finely, discarding any pips. Keep the juice/flesh and zest separately.
  3. Put the zest, butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat together until pale, smooth and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs and 25 g of the flour and beat again.
  5. Add the remaining flour, half the grated marzipan and fruit flesh and juice and mix in with a metal spoon.
  6. Turn into the prepared cake tin and sprinkle the rest of the marzipan over. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until browned and springy to the touch.
  7. This cake is truly moist and can be enjoyed with no topping or you can make a simple icing. Put the icing sugar into a bowl and add a few drops of lemon juice at a time until you get a really thick, spoonable icing. Spoon into the middle of the cake and ease it to the edges using a wet palette knife so that it dribbles over the edges.


  • This recipe is vegetarian.


  • This cake tastes better a couple of days later, so make ahead and store in an airtight container.

What the the testers say

  • JO CURD – ‘I don’t particularly like marzipan but I loved this really continental-tasting great cake. I used oranges rather than lemons.’

    ELLA ARGENTIER – ‘I used lemon and orange and doubled the fruit – it was really moist and citrus-tasting.’

    BEN COLEBY – ‘I have never cooked with marzipan but this worked so well I am inspired to try it in other recipes.’
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