Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sultana and cinnamon sandwich cake

I really crave comforting, old fashioned baking at the moment – if you can imagine it on the kitchen table of a farmer’s wife in an Enid Blyton book then I want a slice of it!

Sandwiching this cake is a classic buttercream given a bit of punch by adding some cinnamon. I thought about using a different filling but it’s wrong to mess around with a cake like this – sometimes classic is the way to go.

So many people don’t like sultanas (or raisins, or currants) and I never understand why; they have such a flavoursome fruity sweetness and I love their squidgy texture when baked. They are one of my dessert island ingredients – give me sultanas and I’m happy! We all have favourite ingredients that will tempt us to bake/buy/order a cake – so come on, share... what’s yours?

This cake sums up the power of simple pleasures to me – it’s heavenly to eat; the crumbly sponge populated with juicy sultanas and a faint spark of cinnamon. Add to that the whipped, smooth buttercream and I’m in cake heaven.

This isn’t a traditional sponge – it’s more of a cross between a sponge and a rock bun; therefore I recommend eating it on the day of baking as it the texture will get harder. Of course, because it’s crumbly and delicious it’s a total nightmare to try and photograph. I spent ages trying to get a nice clean slice...but I shouldn’t complain too much – it was fun eating the rejects!


For the sponge:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g caster sugar
2 eggs
225g self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
225g sultanas
milk to mix

For the buttercream:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g icing sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line two 20cm round loose bottomed sandwich tins with baking paper.

Make the cake on the day you wish to serve it, otherwise it may get a bit hard (like rock buns do). Beat together the butter and sugar until the mix is pale, light and fluffy – don’t skimp on this stage as this is where the air gets into the sponge.

Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Fold in the flour and cinnamon.

Stir in the sultanas.

Stir in enough milk to make the batter a dropping consistency – I needed 2 tablespoons.

Spoon into the prepared baking tins and level the surfaces.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Mine took just over 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins.

When cool enough to safely handle, de-tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Now make the buttercream: place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy.

Place the first layer on the serving plate and spread the buttercream over it.

Place the second layer on top and gently press down to ensure the layers have adhered to the buttercream.

Serve in generous slices with a cup of tea.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Lucy said...

This cake looks truly comforting and perfect for the weekend - I love sultanas. I think my temptation ingredient would have to be caramel - I can never resist it!

MissCakeBaker said...

ooh i love sultanas and enid blyton. This cake looks fab and perfect for a famous 5 midnight feast!

Soo said...

Well, you know my loathing of dried fruit in most forms but I expect this cake (like the oatmeal cookies) would fall in the 'exceptions' category.

Things I love? Lemon (yummm)(has to be tart)(tart as in tangy)(I'm not limiting this to lemon tarts) or cinnamon always call to me.

And I ALWAYS favour farmhouse baking.

Why am I suddenly hungry???

Lauralovescakes said...

Wowsers...that looks fab-u-lous! Cinnamon and Sultanas are two of my favourite things and the rise is superb. I will certainly be making this!

Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

I know exactly what you mean about trying to get a good slice for a photo..I don't like sultanas...but love raisins...odd I know! Still looks great though and cinnamon buttercream sounds epic beyond belief!

Nom! x

C said...

Ooh, I'm with you - I love it when raisins and sultanas plump up when baked into a cake. One of my all time favourite recipes is your sultana buttermilk cake! I'm so tempted to go and make something with sultanas and cinnamon now!

trash said...

Thank goodness you put the cinnamon in that buttercream. That way they can be avoided in one go ;-) But if we left that out then yum! I am loving sultana cake.

I was cruising your archives earlier looking for a recipe in which to use the pineapple I had listing out in the kitchen, couldn't find anything straight away so I just baked it with loads of brown sugar. Oh! I think the resulting fruit could be used in anything and make it perfect.

Crunchy Creamy Sweet said...

This cake sounds like a perfect treat for a Sunday afternoon with my tea! Yumm! I just found your blog and love all the treats you have here. I love the idea of unleashing the cakes! :) I am your newest follower. Have a great day!

Rachael said...

Hmmm I love this idea! I love sultanas but my desert island ingredient would definitely have to be chocolate! Lovely cake :)

Jo said...

The sheer depth of each sponge is amazing, I would definitely want a slice. I've never put cinnamon into a buttercream so will have to give that a shot. I don't know if I could pick a favourite flavour. It's probably lemon at the moment. Citrus is a great pick me up in winter months.

Katie said...

Looks gorgeous and cinnamon and sultana is a wonderful combination.
I love anything almond, but for cakes I can't resist carrot cake. I love all the textures from the nuts and fruit and then all the sppices too - yum!

Hannah said...

That looks amazing! The cinnamon buttercream sounds delicious with the dried fruit in the cake. I love anything lemon or citrusy!

Lottie @ Lottiesworldofcakes said...

I am loving the size of those cakes, huge! It looks delicious!

LPATRI11 said...

Yum can't wait to try this - cinnamon and sultanas - two of my favourite ingredients and you can't go wrong with buttercream icing!

Maria♥ said...

A slice of this delish looking cake is definitely comfort food.


Cakelaw said...

This looks fabulous and very Enid Blyton-esque. My favourite baking ingredient is apples - great in everything.

Maggie said...

This is huge homely cake and a great cake to serve on a cold day.

beti said...

honeslty this cake makes me REALLY hungry it is reallly tall and I love cakes with extra filling, it looks perfect and the combination of flavors sounds delicious

Baking Addict said...

Love the flavours here and as usual lovely height on your bake :)

Miss Cakeaholic said...

That looks so yummy. Cinnamon is my favourite ingredient ever in cake... and well.... it's the best! xxx

Fallen From Flavour said...

love the stature of your bake. although i wouldn't snub a sultana in a cake, i'm that person who's not all that keen on them. my husband looks on with disdain when, being overly fussy, i periodically pick them out.

my desert/dessert island ingredient would have to be buttercream, i have a weakness for it, along with almond slivers and sugared rose petals!

Hazel at Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

I totally agree with sticking to classics! They are just so good. Lovely cake you have here. I'm a fan of the squidgy-ness of sultanas too. Yum!

morri said...

My ultimate baking ingredients would probably be apples and spices (I couldn't bring myself to list just one - I like cinnamon and ginger, and cloves, and cardamom, and anise, and allspice... seriously, I love all of them).

So it probably comes as no surprise that I was planning on trying out your Apple and Cinnamon cupcakes recipe this weekend. I'm not too big on buttercream, but the addition of cinnamon made me pause and think: "Hmmm, this might just work". Then this recipe came up, and, granted it contained no apples, but it had one major advantage over the cupcakes: no need to pipe the buttercream. Yay!

About the baking process: the batter turned out incredibly thick, even after adding two spoonfuls of milk. The recipe said "dropping consistency" - well, I scooped up some batter with a spoon, gave it a hard shake, and the batter wouldn't drop. I turned the bowl upside down and the cake still wasn't going anywhere. I ended up adding way more milk - four spoons at least. I also had to bake it for about 40 minutes, but that was probably due to a slightly different size of the tin.

Now, what became of that incredibly thick batter was a very sweet, solid - if crumbly - and comforting cake. It came out just as I wished it would, and this abundance of sultanas was just exquisite.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Morri

Thanks for your comments - I think it helps other people if they hear different experiences. Everybody's ingredients, kitchens, indoor temperature etc are different so these differences arise - thanks for taking the time to share!

Happy baking

Ellen's Cakes said...

This recipe looks like it would be a fab afternoon treat :D I am one of those who doesn't like sultanas, but raisins in cooking are way tasty! Thank you for the idea of adding cinnamon to the buttercream!

Jacqueline said...

The photos are gorgeous and droolworthy CC. I love that you stcuk with plain buttercream, you are so right on that score. Yum!

Choclette said...

It was worth you spending all that time eating the cake, the photograph looks so very tempting. I love sultanas too, but then I love loads of things, so not sure I could pick just one must have ingredient. Cinnamon would be pretty high up the list too. Ahh, come to think of it - how about chocolate, doh!