Dorset cider cake: Recipe

PUBLISHED: 16:36 10 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:45 10 November 2016

Dorset cider cake (Photo by Lisa Osman)

Dorset cider cake (Photo by Lisa Osman)


With her newly acquired hens happily laying Lisa Osman wants to bake a special ‘thank you’ cake

This cake keeps really well stored in an airtight tin. It is also my standby recipe at Christmas when I have left it to the last minute to make our own cake. For this recipe you will need to grease and line 8” cake tin with baking parchment. 


• 340g mixed vine fruits – washed well

• 25cl local cider or your favourite medium sweet brand

• 170g butter – softened

• 170g light soft brown sugar

• ½ teaspoon mixed spice and a grating of nutmeg (approx ½ tsp)

• 2 large free range eggs – beaten together

• 285g self raising flour


1. Put the mixed vine fruit and cider into a lidded saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. If using AGA place pan on your boiling plate with lid on. Quickly bring fruit mixture to boil, then transfer with lid in place, to simmering oven overnight.

2. When you’re ready to bake set conventional oven to 160ºC/ Gas Mark 3 and slide shelf to middle run (lower run for fan assisted ovens). 2-oven AGA: slide grid shelf on to floor of roasting oven. Place your AGA cake baker inside to reach correct temperature or utilise a large heavy duty lidded saucepan and trivet that will easily hold cake tin. Failing that ensure your plain shelf is cold. 4-oven AGA: slide grid shelf to sit on floor of oven. (You may need to use your plain shelf towards end of cooking time).

3. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs, in two stages, along with a tablespoon of flour. Fold to mix well. Add spice to remaining flour and fold into mixture. Next add cooled fruit and cider mixture and combine.

4. Spoon cake mixture into prepared cake tin, spread evenly, then bake for approximately 50-60 minutes depending on your particular oven. If using a 2-oven AGA without a cake baker, remember to slide plain shelf onto runner above as soon as you put cake inside range. Adjust cooking time accordingly.

5. Cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into centre of the cake removes cleanly. Allow to cool in tin on a wire rack and remove to serve when completely cold. 

Cooks Tip

If you are short of time or using a conventional oven and cannot prepare fruits the day before, simply follow instructions to bring fruit to a steady boil and then simmer with lid removed for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then mix with the remaining ingredients.


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