This was the cake of my childhood, there was almost always one in a tin in the pantry and we were given a slice at tea time.  The preparation was somewhat of a ritual.  The cake tin was always prepared the night before and all ingredients were left on a marble shelf in the pantry to come to room temperature.  The cake was made in a large brown Doulton bowl and the wooden mixing spoon was quite worn away on the one side from the frequent creaming and mixing.  The glace pineapple can be replaced with chopped candied citrus peel.  As an added piece of luxury the top of the cake can be studded with skinned whole almonds.

 You’ll need:

A greased and lined 18cm cake tin, 180g butter, grated rind of half an orange, 180g castor sugar. generous pinch sea salt, 360g self raising flour, 3 large eggs – beaten in a teacup, a little extra flour,  90g currants, 90g chopped sultanas, 90g finely chopped glacé pineapple, 100ml cold milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or orange flower water.


Prepare the cake tin by greasing well and lining with a double layer of greaseproof paper.  Preset the oven to 180C.  Beat the butter to cream it, add the orange rind and slowly add the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Sift together twice the flour and salt.  Beat the eggs in a teacup to break them up.  Add the egg mixture, one third at a time with a generous spoonful of the flour mixture to prevent curdling.  Fold in the remaining flour.

[Up to this stage, this can be done in a food processor.]  Toss the fruit in a little extra flour and fold into the mixture with enough milk to moisten. Finally fold in the flavouring extract.  Bake for about 90 minutes and up to a further 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into it comes away clean.

When done, allow the cake to cool on the tin for a short while and then turn it out onto a cake rack and allow to cool completely.  The cake was then usually wrapped in muslin cloth which had been moistened with  a sprinkle of brandy which my father used to buy as par of his quota from KWV.