Now, although my food photography skills have slowly been (in my opinion) improving, I’ve never been able to take nice landscape and scenery shots. I ended up finally getting together with Melbourne Flickrite last Saturday, and though I doubt I’ll ever take pictures quite as well as he does, he did manage to give me a few pointers as we walked around the city for half the day, shooting photos and shooting the breeze.
However, as he was unselfishly donating half his day to me, how on earth could I return the favour? The only thing that I could think of was to provide him with a few baked goods, and so after checking that he had no food allergies (just a severe dislike of walnuts), I set about making a list of little sweet treats that I could make in exchange for his time.
Old Fashioned Sultana Cake Recipe
This was all well and good until I realized on Friday morning that all the stores had closed. That’s right – I’d neglected to remember that Good Friday meant public holiday, which meant that there was nowhere I could go to stock up on baking necessities, this being quite a problem as my pantry stocks had gotten rather low!
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I was rather upset over the fact, and considered cancelling the lesson till I would be able to make a basket of yummy things, but at around 8pm that night I decided that I’d just try a few things with what I had, and if they turned out alright then I’d just take whatever meagre offerings I could muster and just hope not to disappoint!
With my coconut macaroons made, I wondered what else I could make to fill this little goodie basket, and whilst idly flipping through my cookbooks I came across this simple little recipe that I happened to have all the ingredients for, and which looked nice, simple and tasty without much fuss.
I’d actually eyed this recipe off in the past but had never attempted it due to my kid brother’s extreme dislike of dried fruits. I’d once made my carrot cake with sultanas, and he was upset because he loved the cake but hated the fruit. The result? He cut himself a slice, sat down, and proceeded to pick out every single little sultana in his slice.
As my brother happens to be on a diet at the moment (don’t get me started – the only boy in the house and the fittest member of my family, he’s built like a rock and he’s the one dieting!), I had no qualms about making a cake that would be brimming with something he hated.
I mean, he wasn’t going to be eating anything so what did it matter, right? I hummed and tripped merrily around the kitchen as I baked this sultana cake, and when I pulled it’s gorgeous, golden-brown body out of the oven and cut a sultana slice, my entire family clamoured around me for a slice.
Huh? Wait – what??
That’s right, even my sultana-detesting brother was begging for a piece of this sultana cake.
Me: “Uhhh…you realize that this is a sultana cake, right?”
Brother: “Yup! I’ll just have a little bit without so much sultana!”
Looking doubtful, I cut him a small slice and plated it for him, and watched as he headed over to the kitchen table with a glass of milk. He sat himself down, picked up his fork…and proceeded to tear the slice apart as he hunted out every single sultana, pulling them aside into a small pile on the side of his plate! Ah well, little brothers – you gotta love ‘em huh?
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This sultana cake is ridiculously easy and gives you a result which is thick, dense, buttery and rich. It’s not much of a looker, but goes down great with a cup of tea. Whilst best when fresh, it can be enjoyed later by giving it a light grilling and spreading the side with a little salted butter 🙂
Sultana Cake Recipe Ingredients
(from Family Circle’s “Classic Essential Cakes”)
- 250g butter
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups sultanas
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
How to Make Sultana Cake Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C, and line a deep 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
2. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl till light and fluffy, then gradually add the eggs, making sure to beat well after each addition. Beat in the zest and vanilla till just combined.
3. Sift together the flour and baking powder, then fold in the flour alternately with the buttermilk. Once that’s done, stir in the sultanas.
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4. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth down the surface with a spatula. Bake the cake for 1 hr – 1 hr and 30 minutes, or till the cake is golden on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in tin before removing onto a wire rack. Cool completely, then cut into slices and serve with a little butter if you wish 🙂
This nice and simple sultana cake recipe will keep in an airtight container for up to a week, and is well suited to a nice afternoon tea with your neighbour or a friend! 😀