Advent Calendar – Day 21

Just a few days to go…

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Auntie Grace’s wartime Xmas cake, found loose inside the recipe book of Florence (Florie) Bednall, temp. World War Two (Ref: D3269/F/2/1).

There may just be some time to whip this cake together if you fancy it. Here is the ingredients list as it appears in Florie’s recipe book (transcript of the recipe below).


The Recipe:

  • Sift flour spices & carb soda.
  • Warm a basin & cream well the butter & sugar with the hand. (The whole cake should be mixed with hand. This is much better and quicker than using a wooden spoon).
  • Beat well in one egg at a time, then the glycerine. If there is any danger of the mixture becoming curdled add a pinch of flour (or beat in only the yolks afterwards adding the beaten whites separately). Add the treacle & vanilla then the brandy or sherry.
  • Now add the sifted flour & spices then the prepared fruit & nuts. If a little milk is necessary warm it just enough to take off the chill. The mixture should not be too stiff but must be strong enough to hold fruit in place.
  • Fill the cake tins about two thirds full levelling well & bake in a slow oven 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

As always, if you do give this one a go (even if it is next year), do let us know how it went.



2 thoughts on “Advent Calendar – Day 21

  1. I’m not sure this would have been a wartime cake, it looks far to rich in butter, sugar and dried fruit! And 6 or 7 eggs? What do others think?

    • Dear Meg, you are quite right. This is, I think, is the pre-war version of the Christmas cake recipe Florrie would have used. Very poor attention to detail on my part, uploading the wrong recipe! Auntie Grace’s wartime recipe in fact only include 1 egg – and she specifically points out fresh (as opposed to powdered). Here is the correct recipe:
      1 cup cold water, 4oz currants, 4oz raisins, 1/2lb sugar, 4 oz marg., 1lb S. Raising Flour, 1/2 teasp. bi-carb of soda, 1 fresh egg, pinch of nutmeg.
      Boil water, currants, raisins &sugar tog[ether] for 10 minutes and leave to cool.
      Rub marg. into flour & carb soda until resembling bread crumbs. Then add beaten egg & nutmeg, the cooled currants and raisin mixture. Mix all well together & put into a tine well lined with greased greaseproofed paper. Leave in a cool place overnight so that all the fruits are well absorbed into the mixture to give it a rich flavour next morning bake in a slow oven for about 2 hours.

      The postscript at the end of the recipe reads: Method sounds a little odd but results are good.

      A very different recipe than that originally posted, thank you Meg for pointing it out.

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