Gillian's Larder

Herbs and spices
from the Cornish cooking shop.
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Caraway seed cake

Why has caraway seed cake been out of fashion? It was a favourite when we were children—everyone says that! It’s time to bring it back. This simple recipe is one of Marion Wright’s family favourites. Try it and enjoy that delicious flavour once more.

There’s an unusual ingredient in this recipe (which would be great in other cakes, too): custard powder. It brings a lovely vanilla warmth to the cake and adds a creamy colour which makes the cake irresisistible.

  • 125g/5oz butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1¼ cups self-raising flour
  • ¼ cup custard powder
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds

Turn on the oven to heat to 165°C/330°F. Line and butter a large loaf tin. Sift the flour.

Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, milk, flour and custard powder slowly until they are combined, then more vigorously for about three minutes until the mix changes colour. Stir in the caraway seeds and pour the mixture into the loaf tin. Bake in the oven for about an hour. Stand for five minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Goes down a treat at picnics with splits and jam and home-made lemonade!

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I'd love to hear how you get on! You can email me at: gillian@

Good luck!