Vegan Genoa Cake

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Vegan Genoa Cake

As the name may suggest, this vegan Genoa cake originates from Genoa, Italy. This delicious recipe keeps a moist texture due to the fruit and the almonds on top give the cake a great crunch.

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What is Genoa cake?

Genoa cake is a fruit cake that usually contains almonds, citrus peel and raisins or currants. In the recipe below, we use mixed peel, cherries, sultanas and almonds for the topping.

Compared to a traditional fruit cake, this cake has a lighter taste, without the heavy flavour of molasses.

The cake was invented all the way back in the 16th century as a Christmas cake. This dessert originates from Italy, from the city that gives the cake its name, Genoa. The city is also known as Genova. The place is esteemed for its great Italian food and is actually where the renowned sauce, pesto, was invented.

Why soy milk?

Soy milk has more protein in it than any other dairy-free milk. This makes it great for cakes and bread because they need to be tightly compacted together. The protein also means the cake will turn a lovely golden brown colour. It’s full of healthy fats and Omega-3.

Soy also has the benefit of being pretty much flavourless, so it doesn’t add a particular flavour to this recipe.

Can I use an alternative?

Although soy milk has great benefits, if you have a soy allergy there are other milks you can use for this recipe. Both almond and oat milk are closest in consistency to dairy milk so these will work well too, although almond milk may add a slight flavour to the cake. As the recipe already includes almonds, this shouldn’t matter too much.

Almond milk is low in saturated fat and has no cholesterol, so using it as an alternative regularly will help to reduce the risk of health issues like stroke.

Oat milk is more creamy and tastes like oatmeal. Because it’s creamier than almond milk and has more of a neutral taste, it does offer a great texture in things like cakes. It also has its health benefits, being very fibrous and low in fat.

Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Servings: 10


Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Servings: 10




(Servings: 10)

  • 0.1 0.1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 22.5 22.5 g self-raising flour
  • 11 11 g dairy-free butter
  • 7.5 7.5 g mixed peel
  • 7.5 7.5 g glacé cherries
  • 0.4 0.4 tbsp almonds
  • 22.5 22.5 ml soya milk
  • 15 15 g soft brown sugar
  • 0.2 0.2 tsp baking powder
  • 7.5 7.5 g sultanas
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract


  1. Start by preheating the oven to 180°C/355°F/Gas Mark 4. Stir the cider vinegar into the soya milk and leave to curdle slightly, creating buttermilk.
  2. Add the self-raising flour, sugar, dairy-free butter, baking powder, buttermilk, mixed peel, sultanas, glacé cherries, and almond extract into a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer.
  3. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin and bake for 45-60 minutes, until the cake has cooked through.
  4. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool, and sprinkle with almonds.
  5. Slice it up and enjoy!

Ready for your next baking challenge? Try making your own vegan Peshwari naan bread!

Written by

Vegan Food & Living

Vegan Food & Living is a magazine dedicated to celebrating the vegan lifestyle. Every issue is packed with 75 tasty recipes, plus informative features.

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