Seed cake recipe and sock yarn stash

Posted on Wednesday, 2nd May, 2007. Filed under: baking, recipes, yarn |

I always wanted to try seed cake as it was mentioned in so many old novels I read, but I didn’t even really have any clue what it was until last year sometime. After finally trying it, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, both the flavour (liquorice-y) and the texture of the caraway seeds are very strange to find in a cake when you’re not used to it. However, a slice or two further in and I was definitely a fan. Unusual but delicious, and knowing it’s so old-fashioned just makes it more fun!

As usual, I’ve ended up coming up with my own recipe adapted from a combination of others in my collection of books and my own favourite ways of doing things.

100g butter
100g + 2tspn caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
2 eggs
3tspn brandy
2 1/2 tspn caraway seeds

Cream the butter and sugar (apart from the extra two teaspoons) until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour with each. Add the brandy, and fold in the rest of the flour and two teaspoons of caraway seeds. Put into a 1lb loaf tin, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar and half teaspoon of seeds. Bake at 160C/Gas Mark 3 for 50 minutes – 1 hour, until firm and springy and a skewer comes out clean.

Seed cake

And now on to the knitting. I finally got my yarn I’ve been waiting for! The first parcel ended up officially lost, I hate stupid Royal Mail!! And by the time this had been established, they (Violet Green) had run out of the yarn that made me order in the first place, as it reminded me of parrots. 😦 They were very nice and helpful, though, and I chose some reasonably similar replacements.


It’s such gorgeous stuff! I actually squealed and said “oh wow!” when I put my hand in the bag because it felt so soft and lovely. The ones on the left and in the middle (OK, I only bought an undyed skein because it was cheap) are merino, the one on the right is pure silk, so I’m still trying to decide how best to proceed with it for use in socks without falling down round my ankles. Although the fact that I like them not much above my ankles to start with will no doubt help. This is the first time I’ve bought yarn in skeins, and after winding that silk into a ball, I’ve decided I need a yarn swift. It took me over an hour! And my shoulder was so achey by the end. I actually enjoy winding balls of yarn and often rewind ones I’m using anyway, but it’s all the reaching to uncoil it from around my knees/feet (I haven’t decided which works best) that did me in.

I’ve knitted the first of a pair of Hedera in white On-Line (or whatever it’s called) yarn, also because it’s cheap. I don’t know when the other one’s going to get done though, as right now I’m starting on a pair in Regia cotton that I hope will be my first attempt at writing out a pattern properly! *I* know what I’m doing when I start experimenting, but getting it into a format that makes sense to other people is another matter. I’m very pleased with how they’re looking so far, hope I don’t mess anything up as they progress.


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2 Responses to “Seed cake recipe and sock yarn stash”

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I’ve wanted to try seed cake ever since Mr. Tumnus shared his with Lucy, but what is caster sugar?

Before I got my swift I used to wind my skeins of yarn off the top of two chairs set back to back.

I might try the chairs next time, I hadn’t realised I’d be tied up for so long with the yarn as the only skeins I’ve wound before were perle cotton!

Google tells me caster sugar is superfine sugar, but basically, just use whatever white sugar you would normally bake a cake with.

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