Today’s recipe for Manor House Cake is adapted from a recipe I found in an old notebook many years ago.
An Old Fashioned Cake Recipe
Today’s recipe for Manor House Cake is adapted from a recipe I found in an old notebook, that was in a box of old, vintage books I bought many years ago.
It appears the notebook was started in 1919, and the last entry was in 1936. The notes that accompanied the recipe for Manor House Cake suggested that it was a “plain cake” that might have been served for elevenses or high tea in a “house of great standing”.
There is a commercial cake of this name, that was made famous by the British cake company that boasts that it “makes exceedingly good cakes”, but, although I like their cake of the same name, I often find that it is a bit too dry and very crumbly, and, sadly is has palm oil in it too.
A homemade version of the famous Manor House Cake however, is all together a different matter; the cake IS crumbly, but isn’t dry at all, and has a few more sultanas than the commercial brand.
In an attempt to make the cake moister, I have added a couple of tablespoons of homemade Seville orange marmalade, and the grated zest of a Seville orange, both of which add a fabulous citrus zing to the cake, the marmalade thus making it moister too.
This is a small cake, but it does keep very well in a tin for up to a week, if you are a solo cake diner or just a couple.
The marmalade and orange zest can be omitted for a more authentic Manor House Cake, and as written in the old notebook, but the Demerara sugar is an absolute must for a totally original cake, as made in “houses of great standing” and by the makers of “exceedingly good cakes”!
I have added some notes how to make sure your sultanas don’t sink to the bottom of the cake, as well as a few other baking tips.
I have added some notes how to make sure your sultanas don’t sink to the bottom of the cake, as well as a few other baking tips. Have a wonderful Sunday, Karen
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Baking Tips for Manor House Cake
- *To check if the cake is cooked, insert a skewer into the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean then the cake is done.
- To stop the sultanas sinking to the bottom of the cake, dust them in flour or cornflour before adding them to the cake mixture.
- If the sultanas are too dry, soak them in hot tea or water for 15 to 30 minutes, and drain well before adding them to the cake mixture.
- Grated lemon zest can be added in place of the orange zest.
- This cake is wonderful when served with cheese.
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Recipe for Manor House Cake
- 250g SR flour
- 150g butter, or margarine (cubed)
- 125g white caster sugar
- 2 large free range eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
- 100g sultanas
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade (optional)
- Zest of 1 Seville orange (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/gas mark 4. Line a 20cm (8”) round baking tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter or margarine. Rub the fat into the flour with your fingertips, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. Add the sugar and stir well.
4. Add the beaten eggs and milk and mix until all the batter is well combined.
5. Add the sultanas, marmalade and orange zest, and mix well.
6. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in pre-heated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cake is well risen and is a dark golden brown*. Once cooked through, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the tin onto a wire rack.
7. Scatter the Demerara sugar over the cake whilst it is still warm.
8. Once the cake is cool. place it on a serving platter and cut into wedges (slices) to serve.
*To check if the cake is cooked, insert a skewer into the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean then the cake is done.
To stop the sultanas sinking to the bottom of the cake, dust them in flour or cornflour before adding them to the cake mixture.
If the sultanas are too dry, soak them in hot tea or water for 15 to 30 minutes, and drain well before adding them to the cake mixture.
Grated lemon zest can be added in place of the orange zest.
This cake is wonderful when served with cheese.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 slices Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 398Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 87mgSodium 145mgCarbohydrates 58gFiber 2gSugar 31gProtein 6g
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