How to make Nigella Lawson’s almond and apricot cake

I know I am completely obsessed with Nigella Lawson at the moment but please humour me for one more post.  I’ve been working my way through her new cookbook, Simply Nigella, and there is a lot to love in there.  


Nigella’s strength has always been baking and the recipes in the sweet end of the book are all spot on. In particular I can highly recommend the lemon meringue pavlova and the cookie dough puddings. But the recipe I’ve actually made for a few occasions is Nigella’s almond and apricot cake.

The apricot and almond cake ready to go in the oven  

There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the cake is delicious. It’s really dense and sweet but not cloying. It works as a celebration cake (I made it for my Mum’s birthday) but also as the sort of thing you have a slice of with a cup of tea. Secondly, it’s super easy as you essentially just put all the ingredients in a food processor and then bake it.  Finally, it’s gluten free which is a winner when so many people have dietary restrictions now. 


I made a few tweaks to Nigella’s recipe because I just can’t help myself. I omitted the cardamon seeds after not having any on hand and substituted the suggested rose water for orange blossom water which I feel is a better match with the apricots.  I’m sure once you’ve made this once you’ll add it to your own favourites list and start putting your own spin on it as well.  


Apricot and almond cake
A dense, delicious cake which is also gluten free.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
3052 calories
377 g
1147 g
150 g
95 g
25 g
1299 g
491 g
166 g
1 g
115 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3052
Calories from Fat 1281
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 150g
Saturated Fat 25g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 34g
Monounsaturated Fat 81g
Cholesterol 1147mg
Sodium 491mg
Total Carbohydrates 377g
Dietary Fiber 31g
Sugars 166g
Protein 95g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 150 grams dried apricots
  2. 250 ml cold water
  3. 200 grams ground almonds
  4. 50 grams fine polenta
  5. 1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free if required)
  6. 150 grams caster sugar
  7. 6 eggs
  8. 2 tsps lemon juice
  9. 1 tsp orange blossom water
  10. butter to grease the tin
  11. to decorate
  12. 2 tsps apricot jam
  13. 2 ½ teaspoons pistachios, finely chopped
  1. 1. Put the dried apricots into a small saucepan, cover them with the cold water. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 10 mins or until it is just about out of water.
  2. 2. Take the pan off the heat and let the apricots cool. Preheat the oven to 180° grease the sides of a springform cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
  3. 3. Pour and scrape out the sticky contents of the pan into the bowl of a food processor. Add the ground almonds, polenta, baking powder, caster sugar and eggs, and give a good long blitz to combine.
  4. 4. Open the top of the food processor, scrape down the batter, add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and the orange blossom water, and blitz again, then scrape into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
  5. 5. Bake for 4O mins, cover with foil at the 30 min mark. When it’s ready, the cake will be coming away from the edges of the tin, the top will feel firm, and a cake tester will come out with just one or two damp crumbs on it.
  6. 6. Remove the cake to a wire rack but leave it in its tin. Brush the apricot jam over the top of the cake then sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and leave the cake to cool in its tin before removing it and serving.
  1. Can store for a week in an air proof container in the fridge or can freeze for three months.
Gourmet Chick


  1. Looks a delicious and easy cake

    1. It’s a winner! Have made it a few times now and always good.

  2. Delighted to see this recipe works so well! As a recently-diagnosed coeliac I feel utterly cake deprived. I don’t like gluten-free flour as it’s so highly processed and bad for blood sugar levels. I will make this cake tomorrow – I feel cheerful just thinking about it! How long does it keep?

    1. Yes it’s a good one for coeliac’s and so easy as well

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