Cakes & Bakes: Sticky date cake

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Home made sticky date cake with vanilla ice cream | H is for Home

Delia Smith is probably my favourite ‘celebrity chef’. I think it’s because she’s really down to earth, and so are her recipes. Easy to follow recipes that result in simple, hearty, tasty food.

Mixed dried fruit , butter and condensed milk in a saucepan

This week’s recipe is a case in point, her sticky date cake. Delia calls it a ‘boil and bake’ cake – not terribly enticing I admit, but bear with me.

Boiled mixed dried fruit , butter and condensed milk in a saucepan

It’s quick to mix but takes up to 3 hours to bake in a low oven. The result is a big, unctuous, flavourful fruit-filled cake. The original recipe calls for a dollop of orange marmalade – which we never have in the house – so I substituted it for some lime marmalade I made a while ago.

Pouring sticky date cake batter into the lined cake tin

The taste and texture of this cake make it like a cross between a sticky toffee pudding and a Christmas cake.

Home made sticky date cake | H is for Home

Try it with vanilla ice cream, thick pouring cream and a splash of brandy or rum for a festive flourish!

Sticky date cake
Somewhere between a Christmas cake and a sticky toffee pudding!
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
  1. 225g/8oz chopped dried dates
  2. 175g/6oz sultanas
  3. 110g/4oz raisins
  4. 110g/4oz currants
  5. 27g/10oz margarine
  6. 275ml/½pt water
  7. 1 tin condensed milk
  8. 150g/5oz plain flour
  9. 150g/5oz wholemeal flour
  10. ¾tsp bicarbonate of soda
  11. pinch of salt
  12. 1 generous tbsp chunky marmaladesticky date cake ingredients
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  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas mark 3
  2. Grease & line a 20cm/8-inch square cake tin
  3. Place all of the dried fruit in a large saucepan together with the margerine, water and condensed milk and bring to the boil
  4. Stir frequently to avoid sticking
  5. Simmer the mixture for exactly 3 minutes and stir occasionally
  6. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool for half an hour
  7. While it's cooling, weigh the flours and sift them into a bowl together with the salt and bicarbonate of soda. (When sieving wholemeal flour, you often find small quantities of bran left in the sieve; these can be tipped on to the already sieved flour)
  8. When the mixture has cooled stir in the flour mix and add a good round tablespoon of marmalade
  9. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 2½-3 hours. (Take a look at the cake about ¾ of the way through the baking time and, if the top looks a bit dark, cover it with a double square of greaseproof paper to prevent further browning)
  10. After removing the cake from the oven, let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack
  1. This is quite a large cake which will keep well for several weeks in an airtight tin
Adapted from Delia Smith's Cookery Course: Part Two
H is for Home Harbinger

Cakes & Bakes: Double chocolate stout cake

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slice of double chocolate stout cake with a small vintage bottle with milk | H is for Home #recipe #chocolate #cake #stout

This double chocolate stout cake was a resounding hit this week! I’ve used stout to make bread before, but this is the first time that I’ve used it as a cake ingredient.

It was moist, dense and dark with the stout giving the chocolate a greater depth of flavour. The was pretty tasty too!

Here’s the recipe – based on the one I found in The Delia Collection: Chocolate

Have a look at some of the other recipes where we used stout.

Double chocolate stout cake

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 8 slices

Double chocolate stout cake


  • For the cake
  • 2 oz/50g cocoa powder
  • 7 fl oz/200 ml Young's Double Chocolate Stout, Guinness or similar
  • 4oz/110g butter, softened
  • 10oz/275g brown soft sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 6oz/175g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • For the icing
  • 4oz/110g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2oz/50g very soft butter
  • 2 tbsp stout
  • 4oz/110g dark chocolate
  • To decorate
  • 8 walnut halves
  • cocoa powder, for dusting


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale & fluffy
  3. Beat the eggs in a small jug and add it a little at a time to the butter & sugar mixture
  4. Into the smaller mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  5. Into the smallest mixing bowl, add the cocoa, gradually stirring the stout into it using a whisk
  6. Carefully and lightly fold small quantities of the sifted flour alternately with the cocoa & stout liquid into the egg mixture
  7. Divide the cake mixture equally between two 20cm/8" loose-based cake tins
  8. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes
  9. Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack
  10. To make the icing, beat the icing sugar and butter together until blended
  11. Gradually add the stout, making sure it's thoroughly mixed in after each addition
  12. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water
  13. One by one, dip the walnut halves up to their middle into the warm, melted chocolate
  14. Leave them on a side plate or parchment paper to harden
  15. Carefully fold the remaining melted chocolate into the icing mixture and allow to cool
  16. Once cooled to a spreadable consistency, using a palette knife, sandwich the cake with ⅓ of the icing
  17. Spread the remaining ⅔ on the top of the cake
  18. Arrange the dipped walnut halves on top