Date Cake

Date Cake5 cupfuls of flour
1 ½  cupfuls of sugar
½ lb of butter
1 teaspoonful of carb soda (bicarbonate of soda)
8oz dates
4 oz walnuts
2 teaspoonful of baking powder
¼ pint boiling water
Milk to mix


Place butter, sugar, dates, and bicarbonate of soda and walnuts together in a bowl add the boiling water mix well and leave to cool a little. Add the beaten egg, flour and baking powder and mix well combining all the ingredients thoroughly.
Pour into a lined 2lb loaf tin, and bake in a medium oven at 160°C/150°fan/gas mark 3 for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hrs.
Leave the cake to cool for about 10 to 15mins and carefully turn out on to a wire tray.
Dredge with icing sugar and decorate with walnuts.

Fruit Cake with added VINEGAR?

Fruit Cake1lb/450g Flour
8ozs/225g margarine/butter
6ozs/170g currants
6ozs/170g raisins
6ozs/170g sugar
¼ teasp of grated nutmeg /or 1teasp of ground nutmeg
½ teasp mixed spice
1 or 2  eggs
1 ½  tablespoons of vinegar
1 teasp baking powder or 1 teasp baking soda mixed with 1 gill/ ¼ pint hot milk
A little milk
Preheat the oven 150⁰C/gas 2

Rub together the flour  baking powder, sugar  and the margarine until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and add the fruit and spices..
If you are using the baking soda mix together with the hot milk and add to the dry ingredients
(I used the baking powder and the cold milk) and mix well.
Add the vinegar and mix well
Add the eggs, if the mixture seems too sloppy add only one egg.
Pour into a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin or a 8” round tin and bake for  1 hour or until the cake feels firm , or the skewer comes out clean

Potato Cakes

This is one of my Husbands favourite Grandma Sarah’s recipe’s

Potato Cakes2lb Potatoes (buy the ones for mashing)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
6ozs/180g  Flour
4ozs/100g Lard






Preheat the oven to 250⁰C/Gas 9
Put the potatoes in a pan with enough water to just cover the top of them and bring to the boil, then simmer until soft.
When cooked, drain the in a colander and return the potatoes to the pan, and mash using a potato masher or a fork.
Leave to one side and allow to go cold.
In a bowl rub the lard, flour, baking powder, and salt together and add the potatoes, and mix well until the mixture comes together and forms a fairly firm ball, add more flour if it’s too soft to handle.
Put a large spoonful of the potato mix onto a liberally floured surface, flour the rolling pin and roll gently or press into a circle, about ½ inch thick.
Carefully lift the potato cakes with a skillet or large spatula onto a baking tray and bake until golden brown.
Serve whilst warm with butter on.

Simnel Cake

Simnel Cake is traditionally eaten at Easter. In Mediaeval times young female servants would bake this rich fruit cake to take to their Mothers on the rare visits home for Mothering Sunday. The Simnel Cake marked the end of the forty days of Lent  in the Christian Calendar and the celebration of Easter time.
It is a delicious fruit cake, and I personally prefer it to Christmas cake, it is also a symbolic Easter Cake to signify Christianity. The 11 marzipan balls or figures, are placed around the edge of the cake represent the 11 disciples of Christ, although there were 12 apostles of Jesus Christ,  Judas Iscariot betrayed him and hung himself so he is omitted. The slightly larger ball or figure in the centre of the cake signifies Jesus Christ.
This is Grandma Sarah’s recipe for Simnel cake, I have converted the amounts as best I can and the cake was delicious.

Simnel Cake¼ lb/100g Butter
2 beaten eggs, and one for the glaze
¼ lb/100g Brown sugar
6oz/150  Plain flour
¼ lb/100g Raisins
¼ lb Currants
3ozs/80g Mixed Peel
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/ or baking powder
2 Tablespoons of milk or Orange Juice.
Almond Paste
6ozs/150g Ground Almonds
9oz /200g Castor Sugar
1 Egg.
Orange juice.

Mix the sugar with the ground almonds, add the beaten egg and the orange juice little by little and mix to a stiff paste. Ready rolled marzipan is just as suitable to use.
To Make the cake
Preheat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Slowly beat in the eggs and mix well.
Divide the amount of flour into two and in one half, mix in the fruit and grated peel until all the fruit has a coating of flour, this helps stop the fruit from sinking to the bottom.
Add the flour with the fruit and grated peel in and mix well.
Fold in the rest of the flour and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Grease and line a 18cm tin and spoon half of the mixture into it and spread it smoothly in the tin.
Using a third of the almond paste, roll out,  to form a circle 18cm diameter and cover the cake mix  with a layer of almond paste  then add the remaining mixture making sure that it is evenly spread, leave a little dip in the centre to allow the cake to rise evenly.
Place in the oven for 1 hour and thirty minutes (do not open the oven door for an hour)
Test the cake by inserting a metal skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean then the cake is ready.
Set aside to cool down.
Brush the top of the cake with melted jam and place a circle of almond paste on the top and gently smooth down.
From the remaining almond paste, make 11 balls and one slightly larger one and place these around the edge of the cake.Brush all the areas of almond paste with beaten egg and place in a preheated oven until the almond paste turns a light brown colour