Plum Cake

This unusual nineteenth-century recipe gives a very light cake mixture which just supports the chopped fruit. Ice with royal icing. The quantities given make a cake of about 3 lb. (1½ k.).


  • 8 oz. (240 g.) raisins
  • 4 oz. (120 g.) currants
  • 2 oz. (60 g.) glacé cherries
  • 4 oz. (120 g.) sultanas
  • 4 oz. (120 g.) ground almonds
  • 4 oz. (120 g.) peel
  • 8 oz. (240 g.) butter
  • 4 oz. (120 g.) caster sugar (blanched)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 oz. (360 g.) plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 oz. (30 g.) whole almonds (blanched)


Chop all the fruit fairly finely, as the cake is very light and it would otherwise sink. Cream the butter and sugar very thoroughly, then beat in the egg yolks and the flavourings. Add the flour to the mixture, a little at a time, alternating it with handfuls of the fruit. Beat well after each addition. The baking powder should be sifted in with the last spoonful of flour. Then whip the egg whites very stiffly and fold in gently. The mixture must be poured at once into a well-greased and papered 9 inch tin, which should not be more than three quarters full.

Cook at 350° F., gas mark 4, for ½ hour and then for 2 hours at 300° F., gas mark 2.

Do not open the oven before the cake has been in for at least an hour or it may sink. Half an hour before it should be cooked, open the oven and quickly sprinkle the almonds over the top. Leave in the tin until cold.