Featherlight Wholewheat Cake

Sunday 24 July 2011

I've had this little book in my bookcase(s) for a while now. It's one that I picked up one time when we were visiting a National Trust Place. It's called

good old-fashioned
cakes, by Jane Pettigrew

I love to browse through the books in the Shop every time we go to National Trust places and inevitably I end up bringing one home with me more often than not! They're usually really good books, filled with traditional and historical recipes.

This one contains more than 60 recipes for cakes and tarts, from rich fruit cakes to chocolate cakes to flans and everything in between.

Included as well are traditional teatime favourites such as Maids of Honour and Seed Cake, and this lovely little cake you see here today.

Featherlight Wholewheat Cake. I thought it would be wholesome and a bit different than our usual fare. I was right. It is wholesome and yet at the same time very light and incredibly moist as well!! That must be because of the brown sugar. That always produces a cake with a moist crumb.

It has a delicious cream cheese filling and frosting, which is just stogged full of toasted walnut bits. Garnished with whole walnuts, it makes a really pretty cake for your teatime table.

The layer of jam is my own addition. I used a seedless raspberry jam . . . because I like jam and I especially like jam in the middle of cakes. 'Nuff said!

Some other offerings in the book are: 17th Century Honey Cake, Banana and Pineapple Cake, Boiled Whiskey Cake, Dorothy Wordsworth's Favourite Cake, Coffee and Drambuie Meringues, Paradise Slice, Norfo Tart, Kentish Pudding Pies . . . to name just a few.

I have to say I love exploring the traditional recipes of the UK. Not only is it interesting, but it's also a rather scrummy pastime as well!

*Featherlight Wholewheat Cake*
Makes one 7 inch two-layer cake
Printable Recipe

This is only a small cake, just perfect for a tea party. With the icing having been made with cream cheese,
it is best eaten on the day. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

For the cake:
4 ounces butter, softened (1/2 cup)
4 ounces soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
2 large free range eggs, separated
1 TBS cold water
4 ounces whole wheat self raising flour, sifted (1 cup)
(Be sure not to throw the bran away after sifting, stir this back in)

For the filling and icing:
7 ounces low fat cream cheese
2 ounces icing sugar, sifted (1/2 cup)
3 ounces toasted walnuts, chopped (a scant cup)

To Decorate:
9 toasted walnut halves

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter two 7 inch round sandwich tins and line the bottoms with baking paper. Butter the paper. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat together the eggs yolks and water. Beat into the creamed mixture, beating it in hard. Fold in the flour. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold in. Divide the mixture equally amongst the prepared tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Beat together the ingredients for the filling until light and fluffy. When the cake is completely cold, place one layer, right side up on a plate. Spread with half of the filling. Top with the other cake, right side up and ice with the remaining icing. Decorate with half walnuts. Cut into wedges to serve.

Note: I added a layer of seedless raspberry jam on the bottom layer before I put on the walnut cream cheese filling. Fabulous addition!


  1. this cake looks so delish! the other cakes in that cookbook sound delicious as well. mom is the only other person to use jam between cake layers that i know of, so that's prob why we like to do it. people are always pleasantly surprised by it!

  2. Look amazing my dear I love cookbooks and sounds delicious.
    Mom is sleeply right now and Im seeing my favorites blogs LOL!!
    Hugs to you and Todd and Daisie ,xxgloria

  3. I'm with you, cake needs to have jam in the middle. Looks lovely for enjoying outdoors with the summer weather we have been having too.

  4. What an interesting recipe book- full of lovely ideas and inspiration by the sounds of it!

  5. wow, this looks beyond delicious! I dont know what it is about summer, but I seem to be obsessed with baking :)

  6. I just made this last night and it was a hit! We even had a little tea party this morning for my daughter and a friend and everyone ate it up! Posted a picture of my attempt at it on my blog, although I'm not sure mine turned out as pretty as yours!


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