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Auntie Helen's Sultana Cake

This is one of the first recipes I ever had published in the Mail.  I love this cake as it evokes such lovely memories of being at my aunties house. It will also work really well as one big traybake.

Leave the loaf to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack
  • 500g sultanas
  • 225g  butter
  • 350g  caster sugar
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 1tsp almond essence
  • 350g  self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60g Demerara sugar
  • 2 x  2lb loaf tins or  20X20 traybake tins, buttered or lined with greaseproof paper


Soak the sultanas in boiling water, cover with a clean tea towel and leave overnight. Preheat oven to 160°. Transfer the sultanas and liquid into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Strain and add the butter while the fruit is still hot.

Transfer into a bowl and combine the sugar, eggs and almond essence. Add the flour and salt and mix well. Spoon into the loaf  or traybake tins and sprinkle with Demerara sugar.

Place in the oven and bake for 40 mins, the traybake should now be baked, but if making the 2lb loafs,  reduce heat to 150°C/fan 130°C/gas 2 for another 20 -30mins mins or until a cocktail stick dipped into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.

This loaf improves if wrapped in foil for a couple of days. You can also freeze the second loaf to enjoy at a later date.

*Please note that I've updated this recipe from the original.