Spiced Sultana Cake

Recipe found in the book ‘Favourite Farmhouse Recipes’ by J. Salmon

Two slices of Spiced Sultana Cake stacked upon each other

This cake is wholesome, satisfying, comforting and one of my firm favorites. I wasn’t particularly a fan of sultanas or fruit cake when I first tried this cake, until it completely converted me. A couple of friends and family who have actually stated they “hate sultanas” have been brave enough to try it after some gentle persuasion, and have actually enjoyed it. The mixed spice and marmalade give it such a nice flavour and smell and bursting with sultana’s, this is a wholesome country cake.

This recipe came from my mother-in-law (shout out to Rosemary) who first baked it for my husband and I (boyfriend at the time) when we went to Latitiude Festival. I think I was more interested in this cake than most of the bands, I couldn’t wait to get back to the tent for the next slice. The biggest disappointment was that we had to share it with the group of friends we were camping with, luckily it is quiet a large cake.

The other great thing about this cake is that it keeps for weeks and doesn’t diminish in taste or moistness, in fact the taste improves after 48 hours so it can easily be made a good few days in advance. The original recipe only includes one teaspoon of mixed spice but I add two heaped ones to enhance the taste, I also go heavy on the marmalade. The original recipe also forgets to tell you when to add the baking powder. I’ve only fell foul of that once, it was so frustrating when I ended up with a very flat cake!

The recipe is from an old fashioned, very thin A6 illustrated farmhouse recipe book. The type you often find in gift and tourist shops, however don’t let that put you off. I have found some of my best recipes in these books. It needs an hour and a half to bake so don’t make this cake if you need to go out in a hurry.


454g (1lb) sultanas

225g (8oz) unsalted butter

340g (12oz) caster sugar

340g (12oz) plain flour

3 large eggs, beaten

1 rounded tablespoon marmalade

2 teaspoons of mixed spice

2 level teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

  1.  Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3 and grease a 10 inch round cake tin and line it with baking parchment.
  2. Put the sultanas in a large pan, barely cover them with water and bring the pan to boil and boil for five minutes. Drain the fruit well.
  3.  Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the fruit in the pan, stirring until it has melted. Then stir the marmalade in and leave to cool.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spice into a large bowl. Beat the sugar and eggs together well and then add to the dry ingredients. Lastly add the fruit mixture and beat together to make a batter like mixture.
  5. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for one hour and then reduce the temperature to 150°C/gas mark 3 and bake for another 30 minutes. If the cake is getting dark on top, loosely lay some foil over the top whilst it bakes. This cake can sometimes be slightly underdone in the middle if you don’t bake it for the full time so make sure an inserted knife comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool for a couple of minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack. The taste improves if the cake is left 48 hours before cutting.

If you decide to give this recipe a go, please let me know how you get on via my social media pages or contact me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: