Winter cake

Winter cake
Winter cake Photo: Marina Oliphant

Lady Jekyll suggests putting whole almonds on top of the cake but I had none. Instead, I reconstituted some dried pears in a mix of orange juice and white wine with a small amount of candied ginger and served a spoonful of this compote with a generous dollop of cream.


500g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp ground ginger

250g brown sugar

4 tbsp mixed peel

250g butter, chopped

300ml milk

4 eggs

500g treacle

blanched almonds (optional)


Preheat oven to 160C.

Butter a 22cm x 7cm deep square tin and line the base with paper.

Sieve all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the mixed peel and mix through the dry ingredients.

Place the butter in a saucepan with the milk and warm just until the butter has dissolved.

Whisk the eggs just until well-combined.

Warm the treacle in the microwave for a minute or stand the jug of treacle in a pot of boiling water. Stir warmed treacle into eggs and whisk well together.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg-treacle mixture.

Pour into the tin, arrange almonds on top if using, and bake for 1 1/2 hours to 1¾ hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Cool completely. Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar.