English Garden Cake



For the cake:

9 oz Butter

9 oz Demerara Sugar

3 large, ripe, peaches (about 10 oz combined weight after stoning)

1 heaped Tsp Baking Powder

9 oz Plain Four

3 eggs

5 oz Ground Almonds

1 tsp Vanilla Bean extract

5 oz Bilberries (or Blueberries if you can’t find Bilberries)

Grated Zest of half an orange


Grease and line a 10” cake tin

Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 4

Cut the peaches into 12 slices from top to bottom, twist out the stone and cut each slice into 3 pieces. Rinse the Bilberries and remove any bits of stalk.

Weigh out the Almonds and flour and place into a small bowl with the baking powder. Mix to combine.

Place the butter and sugar in a food mixer and cream together until light and fluffy (use a medium speed).

Lightly beat the eggs and vanilla bean extract and add to the creamed mixture a tablespoon at a time, with  the mixer still running at a moderate speed. If the mixture starts to curdle add a tablespoon of the almond and flour mixture.

Reduce the speed to as low as it will go and add the rest of the flour mixture, a little at at time, until it is all fully folded in.

With the mixer still running at it’s lowest speed add the Bilberries and allow them to be folded in, then stop the motor.

Add the chopped peaches and fold in very gently with a spoon.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin and sprinkle over the faintest dusting of caster sugar then bake just above the centre of the oven for about an hour and 10 minutes, testing with a skewer after one hour.

When cooked allow to cool for 20 minutes or so in the tin, then place a cooling rack over the top of the tin, invert the whole lot and allow the cake to slide out on to the cooling rack. Remove any paper stuck the to bottom of the cake, place a second rack over the bottom and turn the whole lot the right way up. Remove the first rack from the top of the cake and cool overnight. Sift over a sprinkling of icing sugar if liked.

This is a very moist cake and it will NOT keep for more than a couple of days unless you freeze it!