28 June 2011

Ladysmith Cake

I bookmarked this recipe yonks back, Im one of those people that saves a stupid amount of recipes every day knowing full well I wont ever get around to making them all, I think its an addiction. I remember thinking how interesting and pretty the cake was, and the name made it sound like the perfect dainty tea time treat! I'd never seen anything quite like it but it seemed pretty easy and used ingredients I almost always have on hand, however the lack of reviews (i like to know other peeps have success with a recipe before I try my hand at them, im a whimp!) meant it just went into my 'bake some-day' file. Until today, hurrah!

You begin by making a basic vanilla sponge to which you add yummy spices to half (and over yourself if you are a clutz like me, fact of the day - cinnamon stains fingers an interesting brown tinge and is a pretty strong makeshift perfume also!)
You layer the spice mix in a prepped tin, smooth on a layer of jam, top with the plain mix then sprinkle away to your hearts contents with some scrummy chopped nuts, all the while smuggly licking the multiple batter smothered implements with a content little grin.

The result: a crisp top of crunchy toasty nuts, a gorgeously fluffy moist sponge, a layer of your favourite jam and a hint of comforting spice - I mean really...how can you refuse that! It is the perfect cake to give as a gift, easy enough to whip up last minute but just something a little special, and you can switch around various factors in it to tailor make it to yours/the receivers tastes. I think the fact the spices are definitely present but more of a soft undertone complements the cake rather wonderfully. You could use whatever nuts you wish (maybe even coconut..i wonder if that would work, i bladdy love coconut!) and of course the jam layer is completely open to whatever you have on hand. I used raspberry conserve and threw in roughly 7/8 fresh raspberries I happened to have leftover, i loved stumbling across a little pocket of berry goodness so might add a few more next time.

Im so glad I got around to making this one, truly I can't tell you how much so! It exceeded the expectations of both my mum and myself, I am in no way exaggerating when I say I only made it about 4 hours ago now and a good third has been happily shovelled away between the 2 of us!


I hope you don't take as long as I did before biting the bullet and trying this unique little gem of a cake, just a piece of insider knowledge - it is particularly lovely warm :)

Ladysmith Cake
Adapted from Linno-Yum
185g butter, room temperature
185g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 large eggs
185 g all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
4 Tbsp jam
1/4 cup (50g) chopped walnuts (I used 60g)
Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a 20cm (8inch) round tin 
(original recipe calls for an 18x18cm square tin)

Cream together the butter and sugar then beat in the vanilla
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition

Sift in the flour, cornflour and baking powder and fold together until incorporated
Scoop half the mixture into a separate bowl*
Sift the spices into one half of the batter, fold them through, then spread this mix evenly into the cake tin

Spoon the jam onto the spiced cake mixture and carefully spread as evenly as possible**
Top with remaining plain cake mixture and sprinkle with walnuts

Bake for 50-60 minutes***
* Just incase you are as fussy as me and have to be stupidly exact, I weighed the batter and it came out as 728g, so each half was 364g :)
** The jam was easier to spread than I thought but next time I would not spread allll the way to the edge as when putting on the top layer it squishes out a little anyway
*** I left mine in for 63 minutes, covering the top with baking parchment for the last 10mins, to be on the safe side as my oven is moody and I have had some soggy centered cakes in my time which is deeply disheartening!
**** In the above photos the spiced layer looks much thinner than the plain, and it is mostly slightly thinner but it varies in each slice. This can kind of be seen by looking at the right side of the cake in the second large photo

         Dinky Little Printable


  1. What a beautiful cake! It looks just gorgeous.

  2. That looks and sounds delicious! Like you, I have a crazy amount of recipes saved away to make, and I'm slowly ploughing my way through them!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment :-)

  3. What a beautiful cake! Love that crunchy topping and the jam layer! I hope I'll make this soon too. It sound too delicious to pass up.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Have a wonderful day.


  4. Ooh I love the idea of adding fresh raspberries, I will have to give that a go. Btw your blog is so amazingly cute!!

  5. What a great 'cake' idea. It's so versatile and looks so good. Yum Yum Yum! I'm just like you and have tonnes of bookmarked recipes ... this ones been added & hopefully will see light of day very soon!

  6. This cake looks so good. I love moist cake. I can't eat a dry cake - it's like eating sawdust for me.

    I save recipes every day and I have a bucket list for them and then I have some that I just want to "tweak". I'll be 247 years old by the time I get caught up. :)

  7. ooh, i do the same thing with recipes. this looks amazing, i'll have to give it a try!

  8. Thank you for stopping by "Snippets". I see you are from Wales. We lived in Cowbridge, Wales for several months. We declared Wales the most beautiful country we have ever seen! About the Tutti Frutti, I used a regular pound cake loaf pan. It is not a very tall cake at all like banana bread or pound cake. It is quite flat and that surprised me but the tastes is very moist and rich. I used a filling of cream cheese frosting. If you go to my blog "recipe" page and click on "carrot cake bundt" you can find the frosting recipe there.

  9. Oh yum! Now I have it bookmarked, sounds great, thanks!

  10. What a gorgeously scrumptious cake! This looks so tasty!

  11. Thank you all for such touching comments, means so much to me as a newby in this big old food blogging world!

    @Maureen I LOVE your blog name and description :) I too will never catch up with the stupid amount of bookmarked recipes, but I also will never learn and will continue to add to the list! As has just been proven by checking out your blog, those baby potatoes in creamy garlic sauce....goodness..

    @Sarah (Snippets of Thyme) Thats a lovely thing to say, I am too rather fond of Wales! I live in the middle of the woods and love the Welsh countryside :) Thank you for answering my question, it really does look like a gorgeous cake and i hope i get to try my hand at it someday

  12. I am also one of those crazy people with too many recipes to bake, but that aint gonna stop me from bookmarking this one!

  13. what an interesting and pretty cake! i love the idea of a spice cake layer...i think i'm going have to put this in my own "to-bake" file!

    Also, thanks for the sweet comment and visit to my blog :)

  14. :) I save a million recipes too. somehow I have this romantic idea that I'll have them handwritten on queue cards and shove them all into a box for my grandchildren to find one day. when obv. by then children will have little robot bakers to do things for them, and in that case they'll need the recipe in HTML format. oy vey.

  15. @CC11 Thats wonderful to hear, thank you! There must be something in the genes that predisposes us to recipe hoarding :)

    @Cindy Thank you so much for your lovely comment and the one on the lemon bars too, i hope you do get round to trying it as i think you will be pleasantly surprised :)

    @melly Melly that comment was so nice to read and made me smile, I too have that romantic idea (and im only 19!) but theres nothing i like more than sifting through my grans handwritten recipes and would love for the next generations of Sebrights to have the same little pleasure :) although i fear your robot notion may become all too much of a reality! lets hope not :)