Irish Tea Cake with Whiskey Butter


This cake is heavily studded with dried fruits and nuts with extra flavour and moistness coming from tea. Since there is no added fat, and it’s full of fruit, it’s quite reasonable to have an extra slice! However if you are after a more deluxe treat then consider serving it with some rich and boozy whiskey butter.

The original recipe is from Delia Smith’s book Delia’s Cakes. I have changed Delia’s recipe, not because I thought it needed it, I simply wanted to use what I had in my pantry. I also had to omit the dried peel since my husband, like many people it seems, thoroughly dislikes it. With this type of cake you have the opportunity to easily adapt it to suit your own taste.

Delia promises that it toasts well the next day so I am looking forward to trying this for breakfast tomorrow!

Which dried fruits do you prefer in your fruit cake?

Adapted from Delia Smith’s Very Fruity Irish Tea Cake

150ml hot tea (I used Irish Breakfast Tea)
50g brown sugar
100g currants
100g dried diced plums
130g sultanas
200g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange*
juice of 1/2 large orange
100g pecans, chopped
1 egg or egg substitute**

This cake is very easy to make but you do have to start it the day before baking.

Place the hot tea in the bottom of a large jug or ceramic bowl. Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Add the dried fruit and stir. Cover with cling film and leave it to soak overnight.

When you are ready to bake preheat the oven to 170C. Line a loaf or cake tin.

Mix the plain flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Add the dried fruit mix and the remaining ingredients; gently stir until combined. Spoon the thick batter into the tin and bake for about 45 minutes on a lower shelf in the oven (the top of the cake should be level with the middle of the oven). When cooked, turn the cake out of the tin and allow it to cool on a wire rack.

* the unused flesh from the lemon and half orange can be sliced and stored in the freezer. The frozen slices make a welcome addition to many cold drinks.
** In place of the egg I used a small lady finger banana which was far too ripe to eat. I am planning a post on egg substitutes soon!

Whiskey Butter

Lightly adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Brandy Butter recipe from How To Eat. This quantity is more than enough for one Irish Tea Cake.


75g icing sugar
50g ground almonds
50g unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp (or so!) whiskey

Mix the icing sugar and almond meal together. Add the butter and blend until smooth. Add the whiskey and thoroughly stir.



11 thoughts on “Irish Tea Cake with Whiskey Butter

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