Pepper cake

    1 hour 15 min

    A spiced cake from the 19th century. My grandma used to make this. She said that her mum used to make it too and that she thought it originally came from her grandmother. There's no actual pepper in it. All weights are Imperial as that's how they were originally written. Best served with cheese or just buttered. As the maternal side of my family were from Cheshire, I use Cheshire cheese.

    4 people made this

    Makes: 1 loaf cake

    • 1 lb plain flour
    • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
    • 2 teaspoons ground caraway
    • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 12 oz black treacle
    • 2 oz butter
    • 2 oz brown sugar
    • 1 oz candied peel
    • 1 to 2 oz sultanas
    • 1/4 pt ale

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a 7x5 inch loaf tin with baking parchment.
    2. Sieve the flour, all the spices and the bicarb together in a mixing bowl.
    3. In a saucepan gently warm the treacle and butter, then add them to the dry ingredients along with the sugar, candied peel and sultanas; stir well.
    4. Add the ale slowly until mixture has a soft consistency. Pour into prepared loaf tin.
    5. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.


    Keep for a day before eating. Serve with cheese or just buttered. If the cake feels dry, place it in a tin with a slice of apple.

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