Spotted Dick Cake

THIS IS AN INSTANT TASTE OF CHILDHOOD for me, so much so that when I 
developed it, I found my oldest toy, a little kangaroo (‘Kanga’ for short) proved a great inspiration and comfort…

Ingredients for the cake

200g Golden caster sugar
4 Large eggs
200g Self-raising flour
1tsp Baking powder
150g California raisins**
200g Shredded suet*
50ml Milk
6tbsp Golden syrup **

Ingredients for the custard buttercream

250g Unsalted butter, softened
120g Ready-made custard (or 70g custard powder, 50ml boiling water)
1tsp Vanilla bean paste
250g Icing sugar


* This recipe works with both traditional and vegetarian versions
**Additional California raisins and golden syrup to decorate

How it’s Done

2 x 20cm baking tins lined with greaseproof paper

Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4


1 In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs together until pale and creamy (at least 5 minutes). Sift in the flour and baking powder – fold in gently. Stir in the raisins, suet and then
finally the milk.Whisk up the mixture with a fork until it is light and fluffy, then add your almond milk and lemon juice. Whisk well (the fork is fine, no need to use extra utensils – less washing up) and set aside.
2 Divide the batter across the prepared tins and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.  (Note: it is natural that the suet will melt during baking,  so you might want to place an additional tray underneath to catch any drips). Poke each cake several times all over with the skewer and drizzle the golden syrup liberally – leave to cool in the tins
3 To prepare the buttercream, if making the custard, first mix the boiling water and custard powder together in a small bowl, leaving aside to cool. In a freestanding mixer (with the paddle attachment), cream the butter for a good five minutes then add the vanilla – continue mixing for another few minutes 
to incorporate.Add the custard and mix again for about 
5 minutes (scrape down the sides every so often to ensure it’s all mixed). Carefully tip in the icing sugar and mix by hand briefly, before returning to the mixer and beating for a further 5 minutes or so, until fully incorporated.If the mixture is runny, add a bit more icing sugar to help thicken and beat 
until combined.
4 To assemble the cake, remove the sponges from the tins; place one onto a serving plate and spread one third of the buttercream over it. Add the other sponge on top of this (if you wish, you can ‘round off’ the top corners with a serrated knife) and spread the remaining buttercream over the entire cake.

Stud the raisins equally apart to create the spotted dick look and drizzle with extra golden syrup.


“The natural sweetness of California Raisins enhances my baking every time I use them; they look enticing, taste incredible with anything (even on their own), of course) and inspire me to create even more recipes to show them at their best, with perfect results.”