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    Pecan Marsala Cake

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    Pecan Marsala Cake

    This rich cake is ideal for a special occasion. Using gluten-free breadcrumbs and ground nuts, rather than flour, means that it is very light. A steaming cup of espresso provides the perfect counterpart to the cake's sweet nuttiness.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes, plus cooling
    • Total time: 55 minutes, plus cooling 55 minutes

    Serves: 8


    • Cake
    • 4 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large egg white
    • 140g caster sugar
    • 200g pecan nuts
    • 4 heaped tbsp breadcrumbs made from a gluten-free loaf
    • 1/2 heaped tsp cream of tartar
    • Marsala Icing
    • 150g butter, softened
    • 240g icing sugar, sifted
    • 3 tbsp Marsala wine
    • Pecan halves, to decorate


    1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Line 2 x 20cm-diameter, round, non-stick baking tins with baking parchment.
    2. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a food processor and beat until pale and creamy. Add the pecan nuts and blend until finely chopped. Add the breadcrumbs and briefly mix. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
    3. In another bowl, beat all the egg whites with the cream of tartar until holding stiff peaks. Stir 2 tbsp of the egg white mixture into the pecan mixture to loosen it, then gently fold in the remainder of the egg white.
    4. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins and bake for about 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cool in the tins for about 20 minutes; turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the paper and leave to cool completely.
    5. To make the icing, beat the butter with the icing sugar until light and fluffy and then briefly beat in the Marsala, 1 tbsp at a time. Place one cake on a plate and spread with about 1/3 of the icing. Top with the remaining cake and spread the rest of the icing all over the cake. Swirl the icing with a knife and decorate the cake with pecan halves. Chill for about an hour before cutting.
    6. Antoinette Savill's 'Big Book of Wheat-Free Cooking' is published by Thorsons, priced £14.99. Antoinette also has a range of gluten-free products available at Waitrose.

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