Afternoon tea cake

There’s something so delightfully British about a Sunday high tea. Imagine the scene: you’ve had a huge dinner at Grandma’s house, with roast lamb and overcooked vegetables. Then you’ve had a bit of a snooze, followed by a lazy game of cricket in the garden. Before you know it, half-past 4 has rolled around, and it’s time to tuck into the spread of sweet food laid out for Sunday Tea. Scones, bread and butter, teacakes, crumpets, muffins, and a slice of light fruit cake! Nobody does excess better!

Afternoon Tea Cake
Adapted from a Rachel Allen recipe


5oz/125g dried fruit (whatever you’ve got!)
2.5floz/75ml Grand Marnier/Cointreau/brandy/apple juice
7oz/200g butter
5oz/125g caster sugar
1 tbsp oil
3 eggs
9oz/250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
4oz/100g almonds (flaked, or whole and chopped)
sugar for dusting


  1. Line and grease a 8in deep cake tin. Preheat the oven to 160’C (fan).
  2. Put the dried fruit and alcohol/juice in a pan and bring to the boil. Then take off the heat and cool.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the oil and eggs.
  4. Fold in the flour, baking powder, fruit and liquid, and almonds.
  5. Put the mixture into the cake tin, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack, and dust with sugar once cool (I used caster sugar for a bit of crunch, but icing sugar would be fine too). This is best eaten fresh, or as the French would say “à consommer rapidement!” – though do take care if you decide to consume rapidly not to choke on a crumb, because that’s a sure-fire way to ruin a Sunday Tea.

Throwback: Carrot and walnut cake

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