Traditional Seed Cake

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Traditional Seed Cake

In honor of the daffodils which are coming into bloom now and the poem by William Wordsworth, I wanted to bake this lovely Seed Cake which was supposed to have been the favourite cake of William's sister Dorothy!  

I have been to their home up in the Lakes, Dove Cottage . . . and it was a lovely white washed cottage.  One could almost imagine Dorothy and William sitting in the back garden munching on seed cake and drinking cups of tea.  Well, I could at any rate!

 Traditional Seed Cake

 Seed cake is actually a very traditional cake which goes way back in British history.  It was very popular in Victorian times, and a good seed cake recipe would have been included in most cookery books of that era.

Traditional Seed Cake

This traditional British cake is flavoured with caraway or other flavourful seeds. Caraway seeds have been long used in British cookery, and at one time caraway-seed biscuits were prepared to mark the end of the sowing of the spring wheat.

So I would say it's pretty timely, as this would be the time of year they would be sowing it.

Traditional Seed Cake

 I love caraway seed  . . .  and I love cake, especially this type of cake . . .  the kind of cake which is perfect for enjoying mid afternoon with a nice hot drink . . . during your break from spring cleaning, coz . . .  you're all doing that aren't you?  ;-)  

Well, if you aren't yet you will be, I know.  DO let it mature overnight and then serve it thinly sliced with your favourite cuppa.  

You are in for a real treat.   Buttery.  Lightly flavoured with caraway.  It's really nice

Traditional Seed Cake

*Seed Cake*
Makes one 2 pound loaf

Popular during Victorian times, this cake is lovely thinly sliced and served with a nice hot cup of tea, herbal or otherwise.  Very traditional. 

175g butter, softened (3/4 cup)
175g caster sugar (very scant cup (less about 2 TBS)
3 large free range eggs, beaten
3 tsp caraway seeds
225g of plain flour, sifted (1 1/2 cups plus 1 TBS)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 TBS ground almonds
1 TBS milk 

Traditional Seed Cake

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter and line a 2 pound loaf tin with baking paper.  Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir this in along with the salt, almonds, seeds and milk.   Mix well to combine evenly.  Scrape into the prepared baking tin.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or unti well risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely in the tin.  Store in an airtight container.  Cut into slices to serve.

Traditional Seed Cake

Did you know that Caraway Seeds are thought to aid digestion?   They are from a herb related to the parsley family.  

Whatever . . .  they're really tasty.  This recipe was adapted one which I found in a National Trust Cookery Book, entitled  . . . Good Old Fashioned Cakes.  

You can't beat a National Trust baking book.  Yummy!  These are the recipes they use in most of their tea rooms.

Traditional Seed Cake

Bon Appetit!  Happy Daffodil season.


  1. I'm going to try this one Marie! Sounds wonderful.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Monique! I love these old traditional recipes! xo

  3. Hi Marie, I love recipes with tradition, this is wonderful. I just realized that you are the same person that blogs the English kitchen and then we all had tea both of which I enjoy very much. Thank you!

  4. Thanks so much Cheri! This is really a wonderful cake. I do so love the traditional recipes also. Thanks so much for your lovely comments re my other blog as well! You made my day! xo

  5. Marie, I add a LOT of caraway seeds, a couple Tablespoons of rum and a handful of homemade candied citrus peel. Yummy

  6. I suffer with osteoarthritis for years i have this cake since childhood from my grandmother and love it it makes me feel better than the tablets prescribed and i thought it was for workers on the farm and I'm a city boy

  7. Im going to give this a try today. Can i use almond meal for the ground almonds? Thank u

  8. Sounds delish, what size is a 2 pound loaf pan ?

    1. It is an 8 by 4 inch loaf tin. Hope this helps and yes, its incredibly delicious! xoxo


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