Farmhouse Sultana Cake – Dairy Book of Family Cooking

Back when the The Dairy Book of Home Cookery was one of my only cookbooks I used to bake this cake a lot. Then we got a bit bored so I stopped making it and wIth newer more interesting cookbooks I didn’t go back to it. However it occurred to me it would make a good cake to put in lunch boxes. I realised when making it that it’s also a good cake for winter as it only uses one egg. (The chickens are already down to 3 eggs a day and that will reduce further as the days get shorter so I’ll need to adjust what I bake to reduce the numbers of eggs I use). It’s a very slightly worthy cake with it’s wholemeal flour, but that helps make it a very pleasant low guilt treat with a cup of tea and it keeps for a few days. I put crushed up sugar cubes on top because I had some in the cupboard (no idea why, I must have had a plan at the time) but you really don’t need them. I also used to make it in a round tin. Square is easier to cut for lunch boxes, I think it looks nicer as a round cake.

Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 10ml/ 2 tsps mixed spice
  • 5ml/1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 225g/8oz wholemeal flour
  • 175g/6oz butter
  • 225g/8oz soft brown sugar
  • 225g/8oz sultanas
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • About 300ml/0.5 pt milk
  • 10 sugar cubes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas mark 3.
  2. Grease and base-line either a 20cm/8in square or a 23cm/9in round cake tin.
  3. Sift the plain flour, mixed spice and bi-carb of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the wholemeal flour and stir to mix.
  4. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and stir in the sugar and sultanas.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg and the milk. Beat gently until well mixed and of a soft dropping consistency.
  6. Turn into the prepared tin.
  7. Roughly crush the sugar cubes and scatter over the cake.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 1hr 40mins until cooked (a cake skewer should come out clean). Turn out and cool on a wire rack.
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