I have a confession to make. I’m not a big fan of the cupcake and it is highly unlikely that you’ll ever find a cupcake recipe on this blog. I appreciate that cupcakes are lovely to look at and if someone brought me one from say, The Hummingbird Bakery, I’d eat it. What I really like to make at home though are proper, family sized cakes; the kind you can tuck into with a cup of tea in the afternoon, or give to your children with a glass of cold milk as the perfect after school treat.
Whenever I go over to Lincolnshire to see my parents, I like to take them one those ‘afternoon tea’ type cakes and this is the recipe for last week’s offering. It was a resounding hit!
You will need …
- 225g wholemeal flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 teaspoons of ground mixed spice
- A pinch of sea salt
- 200g soft Agen prunes – stoned and chopped into chunks
- 200g dried apricots
- 50g golden sultanas
- 75ml orange juice
- 200g unsalted butter
- 200g muscovado sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 generous tablespoons of orange marmalade
- Chop the apricots into medium sized chunks and soak them with the sultanas in the orange juice. If you warm it gently it will soak in more quickly. For best results, soak the fruit a couple of hours before making the cake until all the liquid has absorbed.
- Preheat the oven to 160C.
- Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line with baking parchment.
- The orange juice should have soaked into the fruit by now but if it hasn’t, pour away any excess, add the chopped prunes and mix with the marmalade.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs in one by one and add a tablespoon of the flour to each one to avoid it splitting.
- Fold in the remaining flour, salt, baking powder and mixed spice. The mixture should be stiff enough to stop the fruit from sinking to the bottom.
- Gently fold in the fruit so as not to knock the air out.
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake it in the oven for an hour and half or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool on a rack before turning it out.
- Dust with a little icing sugar once it’s completely cool.
- Keeps well in a tin for at least a week but, trust me, it’s so yummy it won’t last that long!
- I have also used this as a Christmas cake by adding stars and hearts cut out on white marzipan.