Ale Cake

From Lakes on a plate episode 12: Lamb & Beer


  • 350g butter
  • 350g dark brown sugar
  • 900g mixed dried fruit
  • 500ml dark strong local ale
  • 1tsp ground mixed spice
  • Juice and zest of 2 oranges
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 750g plain flour


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Place the butter, half the sugar, dried fruit and beer into a large pan on a low heat.
  3. Add the mixed spice, orange zest and juice. I also throw the orange skin in while it’s cooking because it gives it a bit more flavour.
  4. Meanwhile whisk together the eggs and remaining sugar until it has doubled in size and has become really light and fluffy.
  5. When the pan has come to the boil add the bicarbonate of soda and watch it fizz.
  6. Remove from the heat – as it cools it will catch all the air it has created.
  7. Pour in the egg mixture and sieve in the plain flour. Mix all together with a spoon and pour into a lined cake tin.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes.