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Thursday 24 May 2012

Let Her Eat Cake: Cheaty Blackcurrant Bakewell Cake

Let them eat cake. Although Marie Antoinette never actually said this, I think we can all agree that eating cake is a mighty fine occupation. And to help you all pursue this noble aim, I'm starting a cake-tastic fortnightly column, kicking off with this incredibly easy almond sponge.

I love a good bakewell tart, but it's rare that I can be bothered to make one of my own. Instead, I can often be found lurking in my local cafe in Blackheath making use of the free wifi and tucking into a slice of awesome cherry bakewell cake. Montpelier's cake (the perfect freelancer fuel) was the inspiration for my cheaty blackcurrant version. It's got all those bakewell flavours - almonds, fruit and sticky icing - without the hassle of pastry.

The only thing you really must do when making this cake is line the bottom of your tin. The jam tends to sink to the bottom and if you don't line the tin, you'll lose a load of lovely sticky jamminess. I may or may not have found this out the hard way.

Cheaty Blackcurrant Bakewell Cake

You'll need:

For the cake
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 6tbsp blackcurrant jam
For the topping
  • 75g icing sugar, sifted
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 50g flaked almonds
Make it!
  • Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm / 8 inch cake tin and line the bottom with a circle of baking parchment.
  • To make the cake batter, whizz together the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, ground almonds and baking powder in a food processor, mixer or using an electric whisk.
  • Put half the mixture into the cake tin and smooth it out.
  • Splodge the jam over the top, a teaspoon at a time. 
  • Spread the remainder of the cake mix over the top. It's easiest if you add it in dollops and then smooth it a little to fill the gaps.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and cooked through. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out upside down onto a plate. Peel off the baking parchment (you did line your tin, didn't you?!). The jammy bit should now be on top.
  • Once the cake has cooled, mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice to make a runny icing.
  • Drizzle over the top of the cake and sprinkle with the flaked almonds.


  1. You make cheating look AMAZING.

  2. This looks utterly delicious. Lovely to have you back on the site Alex!

  3. This cake is totally my inspiration for today's bake well ice-cream!

  4. Even though it is the hottest day of the year and I am on a diet I decided to make this! Didn't have any jam so used whole blackberries with an extra sprinkling of sugar so we will see how it comes out... My excuse is I am visiting a pregnant friend later...

  5. Can confirm it worked very well with whole blackberries and was delicious!

  6. Was really looking forward to this cake, but afraid to say it really didn't work for me. The jam did not end up at the bottom and struggled to get the cake to cook all the way through - the jam seemed to make the centre of the cake too wet and it wouldnt set.

    Oh well - it still tasted pretty good smothered in cream! :)


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