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Seed cakes were popular in seventeenth and eighteenth century England, so we're going to bake a little piece of history. A Victorian tea party always had at least one type of seed cake being served.

A victorian tea party

Every Victorian tea party had at least one type of seedcake on the table.

This simple version takes only 10 minutes to prepare in a food processor. Unlike some of the poppy seed cakes I have tried, this isn't like a mouth full of budgie food - it's more cake than seeds.

A seedcake

Seedcakes don't usually have icing - I like that sort of simplicity.


  • 3/4 cup butter

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/3 cup sherry or milk

  • 1/3 cup sherry or milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1 and 7/8 cups sifted flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

cake mixture in a bowl

The mixture is ready to pour into the caking tin.


In this recipe I used a food processor - (this is one of the few recipes I have baked successfully, after mixing in a food processor! . . . And No I didn't buy it - it was a gift from a vengeful inlaw!). It works equally well with a plain cake mixer too.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a large loaf pan.

  2. Put the all-purpose chopping blade in the food processor and add the butter and sugar. Process for 1 minute, or until well creamed.

  3. Add the eggs one at a time, processing each addition for 15 seconds

  4. Add the sherry and spices and process for 10 seconds.

  5. Sift the flour and baking powder together and pour them on top of the liquid ingredients in the food processor. Process 30 to 60 seconds, or until well blended.

  6. (If you don’t have a food processor, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until they are light, beat in the eggs one at a time, and stir in the sherry and spices and finally the flour mixture.)

  7. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 50 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

  8. Place cake of a cake rack untill cool. Do not cut the cake until it has cooled

Damaged cake and cake tin with some cake stuck in it

Cake sticks to baking tin?
A handy cheat is to cut a disk, the size of your baking tin, out of baking paper. Grease the cake dish as usual then place the paper disk in the bottom of the cake dish. Pour the cake mixture onto the paper. When it comes out of the oven, no matter how hard that cake is stuck, running a knife around the sides and inverting the cake dish will flop out a perfect cake. Peel off the paper when tye cake is cool.

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Bar - Gold bar with Granny Smith Apple

But is this part of my healthy diet?

No not really but you could eat worse (like cheesecake, or tiramisu).

Let's be realistic here. You still need to have social contact - friends around and so on. Life doesn't cease because you were told you have to go on a diet. If you stuck to a "fluff-food" diet, you would soon get so fed up. You would lash out for a few biscuits or that gorgeous chocolate double layer cake that was offered around. That's a catastrophe, in calories, fats, sugars and starches. A piece of this occasionally will not hurt your diet, especially if you cut back on something higher in sugar or carbohydrates, in your diet, to offset it.

Insane craving for cake

So there's nothing left afterwards to tempt you.

This is the sort of food you only make when you know visitors are coming (so there's nothing left afterwards to tempt you) or you have children and want a little something extra for their lunches that's not full of artificial additives. Just because you have to cut back, your family needn't be punished too.

Bar - Gold bar with Granny Smith Apple

Basket of Fresh herbs

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