Norfolk Vinegar Cake

Welcome back to a new term on Blog About Britain.  Every Monday this term we are going to mix geography with a spot of baking.

I have enlisted the help of a number of families, scattered across the country and each has been assigned a recipe from their locality to put to the test for us.  We have photos of the process as well as the final product and hints and tips from the cooks.

So, without further ado…this is Norfolk…

…and the Hubbard family from Fakenham are going to help you make Norfolk Vinegar Cake. 

They said: “Luxuriously packed with fruit, moist and tasty. No taste of vinegar at all!!” and “It is actually a really nice fruit cake, good if you run out of eggs or have allergies”.

You will need:

  • 450g plain flour
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 225g sugar
  • 225g raisins
  • 225g sultanas
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 275ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Also a large mixing bowl and a 23cm diameter round tin – greased and lined.

Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F or Gas 4.

Put the flour into the bowl.  Add the butter.

Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it looks a bit like breadcrumbs.  Then stir in the sugar, raisins and sultanas.

When you start the next step, you need to keep going until the cake is in the oven.  Mixing the last 3 ingredients will create the gas which will make your cake rise, but you want most of that to happen in the cake…

Put the bicarbonate of soda in a cup, add 1 tablespoon of the milk and mix them together.

Put the rest of the milk into a large jug and add the cider vinegar.

Now pour the bicarbonate mixture into the jug and stir it in.  It will froth as it forms the gas.  Pour it all into the cake mixture and quickly stir it in.  You want it well mixed, but you want the gas to stay in the mixture so don’t stir it any more than you need to.

Transfer the mixture to the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 150°C or 300°F or Gas 2 and let it bake for another hour.  If it starts to get too brown on top, you can cover it loosely with foil.

To check that the cake is cooked through, push a skewer or a knife into the middle and pull it back out.  If it comes out covered in cake mixture, then it needs longer in the oven.

Once the cake is cooked, let it cool in the tin.

Once it is cooled, take it out of the tin, make yourself a drink and enjoy a slice!