Old-Fashioned Seed Cake

Most people would feel a bit nervous attempting a new recipe when the first sentence says, "You either love seed cake or loathe it."  Gulp - really?! Considering I had no idea what seed cake was, and had never seen one, much less eaten one, and was baking this recipe to serve to friends, it wasn't an auspicious beginning.

To be honest, if I'd been forced to describe seed cake before I looked at this recipe I would have probably thought it was something a bit like fruit cake but with seeds instead of fruit. I would have been very, very wrong. In actual fact, it's basically a sponge cake with caraway seeds and a bit of candied peel in it.

There was no picture with the recipe so nothing to prepare me for the fact that when I pulled the cake out of the oven, the caraway seeds sprinkled on top would look very much as though a tiny army of insects had perished on its surface. Thankfully, as I often do with untried recipes, I had kept back a dessert-spoonful of the mix and cooked it separately as a little tester bun, so I was able to try it before I inflicted it on my guests. It was quite an odd eating experience - sort of like mouthfuls of normal cake interspersed with mouthfuls of random garden flora!

My seed cake has fleas!

The recipe didn't call for icing or any topping at all, but I decided to add some because the tester bun was a bit dry and I thought it needed something. I let OB do the actual icing decoration - not a bad job, all things considered!

Drowning the fleas with icing

I was right, it was a teeny bit dry - perhaps overbaked? The recipe suggested "about an hour" for cooking time (how I wish they'd narrow it down to the minute!) but perhaps I should have adjusted down for my rather fierce fan oven.

Having said that, it was a very light-textured, fluffy sponge as you can see in the slice below.

Hmmmm - fleas all through. Maybe a bit of Frontline is needed!

Verdict? Well, my guests ate it, pronounced it nice and several had extra helpings. It was all eaten on the night so you can't ask much more than that. Contrary to the recipe's declaration, I neither loved it nor loathed it. It was ok, but I probably won't bake it again (despite the amount of caraway seeds and candied peel I have left over in the cupboard!) as there are other cakes that are so, so, so much better (i.e. with a lot more chocolate in them!).


  1. its looking different and nice cake...i think it will be tasty...


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