Bakewell Tart


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


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This is a cross between the classic Bakewell Tart and the more familiar iced version sold in the supermarket, as I love them both equally, but including two kinds of the same cake in one recipe book could be considered a bit overexcitable. I love this cake so much that I would happily have it as a birthday cake, if only my dearly beloved weren’t allergic to almonds. As it is, I make it for myself whenever she is away from home, partly so as not to kick off any throat-closures, and partly as a large saccharine comfort in her absence. You can make this as a large tart (recommended), or smaller lunchbox-sized morsels (also recommended).


  • 150 g vegan spread – buttery varieties work best
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp almond essence
  • 100 mlmilk’ – it makes sense to use almond, but any will do
  • 1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 4 tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam
  • 2 heaped tsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds (optional)

For the pastry

  • 190 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 15 g icing sugar
  • 100 g vegan spread, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 tbsp ice-cold water


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C (fan 180°C/400°F/gas 6).
  2. Next, make your pastry. Grab a large mixing bowl, and sift together the flour and icing sugar. Add the vegan spread a tablespoon at a time, so it goes in in dollops, which will be easier to work with. Rub the flour, sugar and spread together between your fingers to form a fine, breadcrumb-like texture. When all the spread is incorporated, add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing thoroughly with the handle of a fork or a rounded butter knife acting as a dough hook, to combine.
  3. Lightly dust your worktop with a blend of flour and icing sugar – I sift mine for an even coating. Pop the dough onto it, and knead briefly for a minute or two, then roll it to 5mm thick.
  4. Lightly grease a 20 cm tart tin (or use a shallow 20 cm cake tin if you don’t have one). Carefully lift the pastry up and place it in the tin, allowing the edges to overhang, which will allow for shrinkage. You can trim them later.
  5. Loosely cover the pastry with foil, and fill with baking beans. If you don’t have baking beans, large dried beans or chickpeas will do the same job. Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 12–15 minutes.
  6. Remove the tart base from the oven and carefully remove the foil and the beans. Return it to the oven for 12 minutes to cook further.
  7. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool, in the tin. Once cool enough to handle, trim any overhanging pastry edges with a sharp knife, and discard. (I blitz them in a small bullet blender and pop them in a jar to use as sprinkles for ice cream, mixed with sugar and cinnamon, because I cannot bear waste. It’s good, you should try it!)
  8. To make the filling, add the spread and sugar to a small saucepan, along with the almond extract. Place on the smallest hob ring on the lowest heat to melt the spread for a minute, stirring to prevent it catching and burning. Remove from the heat as soon as the spread is melted, add the ‘milk’ and vinegar or lemon juice, and set to one side.
  9. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir in the ground almonds. Make a well in the centre and pour in the liquid, mixing well to form a smooth batter.
  10. Spread the jam over the pastry base, using a pastry brush or the back of a teaspoon to get it into the edges, but carefully, as you don’t want to damage your pastry. Pour the batter over the jam, and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top, if using.
  11. Pop the tart back in the oven for 18 minutes, or until a small sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out completely clean. Leave to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the tin and placing on a wire cooling rack, with greaseproof paper or a tray underneath it.
  12. Make up your glaze by mixing the icing sugar with 1 teaspoon of water. Mix together and add more water until it reaches the desired consistency. Drizzle the glaze across the top of the tart, generously – the excess will fall through the cooling rack and onto the paper or tray. Repeat as desired, and finish with more almonds, if you like.