Sultana Cake

Saturday, 19 November 2022

Sultana Cake 





One thing that I really fell in love with while I was living in the UK was their cakes.  They are quite different than the cakes we have in North America. 


Most are sturdy cakes, not dissimilar to pound cakes.  Meant to be enjoyed with hot cups of tea.  As you know the British love their tea, and what is a hot cup of tea without a bit of cake to enjoy on the side!


Sultana Cake 





There is a great abundance of tea rooms all over the UK. We used to often visit National Trust Properties and they always had a tea room attached where you could enjoy a hot cuppa and a slice of cake after exploring the gardens.


One of my favorite places to go was always Scotney Castle. I also loved visiting the gardens at Sissinghurst, and a slice of cake afterwards was a must. I especially loved the fruited cakes.

 

Sultana Cake 





Cakes such as this delicious Sultana Cake I am sharing with you today.  This lovely cake makes the perfect teatime cake.

Lightly flavored with lemon and studded with lots of sweet sticky sultana raisins. It is a simple cake for sure, but don't let that simplicity fool you into thinking its not special! 



Sultana Cake 




It truly is the simple things in life which bring us the most pleasure and this cake is proof positive of that.  Not too sweet.  Just sweet enough.


And perfect, enjoyed with a nice hot drink and a friend. 


A hot cup of tea.  A slice of a delicious cake. The company of a good friend. A most brilliant combination! One of my favorite things for sure!



Sultana Cake 





WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE A SULTANA CAKE

Simple everyday ingredients. There is nothing out of the ordinary here.

  • 3/4 cup (minus 3 tsp) (140g) butter, at room temperature
  • scant 3/4 cup (140g) castor sugar (finely granulated sugar)
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 2 cups (225g) self-rising flour
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract (optional) 
  • 1 1/4 cup (170g) sultana raisins

Sultana Cake 




Feel free to use margarine instead of butter if you wish. I just always use butter.  Either way make sure it is at room temperature.

Caster sugar is a finely granulated sugar. Our granulated sugar here in Canada is nice and fine so it works beautifully. If your regular granulated sugar is too coarse, give it a quick whirr in the food processor to break it down a bit.

Ever see a cake with brown speckles on it?  That's sugar that hasn't completely melted into the batter.


Sultana Cake 
 



The lemon extract is entirely optional.  You can also use finely grated lemon zest in its place.  I think the flavor of the lemon goes very well in this cake.

If you are using lemon zest why not use a handy tip I learned from baking with Dorie Greenspan. Rub your sugar and lemon zest together before incorporating it into the batter. It helps to release the oils from the zest in a phenomenal way!


Sultana Cake 




I can appreciate that self-rising flour is not something which is available to all, or might not be something you have in your house at the moment. This is easily rectified.  You can make your own.


I always do.  Just whisk together 1 cup of flour and 1 1/2 tsp of baking power and 1/4 tsp of salt for every cup of self-rising flour needed. Works a charm.



Sultana Cake 




Not overly fond of sultana raisins?  You can use an equal amount of mixed dried fruit, or even currants.  All work wonderfully.

Typically, sultana raisins are smaller than regular raisins. They are also a bit sweeter, jucier and lighter in color than regular raisins. No sultanas?  Use regular raisins.



Sultana Cake






HOW TO MAKE SULTANA CAKE 

Nothing could be easier. This cake employs the one bowl method of mixing.


Preheat the oven to 340*F/170*C/ gas mark 4. Butter a 2-pound (9 by 4) loaf tin and line with baking paper.

Measure the flour into a bowl.

Measure the sultana raisins into a bowl. Add a TBS of the flour and toss to coat. Set aside. (This helps to keep the raisins evenly distributed and from sinking to the bottom of the cake.)

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.




Sultana Cake 





Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, making sure they are thoroughly incorporated before you add another one. If the mixture begins to curdle, stir in a TBS of the flour. Stir in the lemon extract if using.

Sift the flour over top of the creamed mixture and gently fold in with a metal spoon to combine. Mix in the sultanas, making sure they are evenly distributed. Spoon into the prepared loaf tin, smoothing over the top.

Bake for about 1 hour, until risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then lift out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Store wrapped tightly. Cut into 1-inch-thick slices to serve.



Sultana Cake 





This truly is a lovely cake which seems to improve in flavor as each day goes by. It will keep for quite a few days in a tightly sealed container and also freezes very well.

If you are looking for a delicious cake to enjoy with a nice hot cuppa, I don't think you can really get much better than this!



Sultana Cake



Some other cakes you might enjoy eating along with a hot cup of tea are:

QUICK FRUITED TEA CAKEButtery, dense and deliciously moist, stogged full of bits of fruit and lightly spiced, this cake pleases on many levels! This is a great last-minute cake.  It's nice for Christmas, but actually it's pretty special any time!  A real teatime treat! 


DEEP, DARK & DELICIOUS GINGERBREADThis is the kind of gingerbread cake that sonnets could be written about, poems . . .  novels. This is the kind of gingerbread cake that you could imagine Meg, Amy, Jo and Beth sitting down to enjoy on cold winter's evening while the fire burns low in the grate, whilst Marmee reads to them the latest missive from their pa . . .


Yield: 8
Author: Marie Rayner
Sultana Cake

Sultana Cake

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 15 M
This loaf cake has a similar texture to a pound cake. It is moist and delicious and studded with plenty of sultanas. Perfect with a nice hot cuppa!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (minus 3 tsp) (140g) butter, at room temperature
  • scant 3/4 cup (140g) castor sugar (finely granulated sugar)
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 2 cups (225g) self-rising flour (See notes)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract (optional) (See notes)
  • 1 1/4 cup (170g) sultana raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 340*F/170*C/ gas mark 4. Butter a 2-pound (9 by 4) loaf tin and line with baking paper.
  2. Measure the flour into a bowl.
  3. Measure the sultana raisins into a bowl. Add a TBS of the flour and toss to coat. Set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  5. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, making sure they are thoroughly incorporated before you add another one. If the mixture begins to curdle, stir in a TBS of the flour.
  6. Stir in the lemon extract if using.
  7. Sift the flour over top of the creamed mixture and gently fold in with a metal spoon to combine. Mix in the sultanas, making sure they are evenly distributed.
  8. Spoon into the prepared loaf tin, smoothing over the top.
  9. Bake for about 1 hour, until risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then lift out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  11. Store wrapped tightly. Cut into 1-inch-thick slices to serve.

Notes

If desired, you can add the finely grated zest of half a lemon instead of the lemon extract.

You can easily make your own self-rising flour. For every cup of flour, whisk in 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt.

Did you make this recipe?
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Sultana Cake






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