Fergus Henderson recipe: Seed cake (with a glass of Madeira)

Fergus Henderson's seed cake (with a glass of Madeira).
Fergus Henderson's seed cake (with a glass of Madeira). Photo: William Meppem

Eleven o'clock and still two hours until lunchtime. Something to keep you steady – nothing finer than a slice of seed cake, washed down by a glass of Madeira. This will see you safely through until lunch.


260g softened unsalted butter

260g castor sugar

1 tsp caraway seeds

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

320g self-raising flour

150ml full-fat milk


1. Grease a 16 x 10 x 8-centimetre loaf tin with butter and line the base and sides with baking parchment / paper.

2. Cream the butter, sugar and caraways together either with an electric mixer or in a bowl with a wooden spoon until they are white and fluffy.

3. Gradually mix in the beaten eggs, adding them little by little to prevent curdling. Then sift in the flour and mix until incorporated. Lastly add the milk.

4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake in an oven preheated to 180C for 45 minutes or until it is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

5. Serve with a glass of Madeira.

Try Henderson's seed cake and meet the man himself at a special Brit picnic this Sunday, Nov 27 at French Saloon, Melbourne. Tickets at goodfoodmonth.com/melbourne

This is an edited extract from The Complete Nose to Tail by Fergus Henderson.

Also try Fergus' other picnic recipe: Cured beef and celeraic.