It’s been my birthday weekend and it feels so bleak in the world that cake seems the only comfort that can make things better. My husband is obsessed by wholemeal flour and refers to it as “rustic” – he wants me to create farmhouse, country style baking from my kitchen in south east London 😂. I was gifted Hugh FWs. book in early January and it’s fantastic, a great read with really lovely recipes like this seedy cake. It’s got a gorgeous texture with the poppy and sunflower seeds. I wanted to add a bit of fruit so we could have this for our Sunday lunch pudding. I tell you what – they are a great addition for a dessert as they add moisture. But if you want as I call it “a cup of tea cake” I would omit them
Please give this a go, its delicious and definitely more nutritional than other cakes.
I still, like lots of people seem to be struggling with motivation. I had lots of grand plans for blogging over Christmas but I think this long Covid is definitely a real thing which I hope will disappear soon. And I can get back to my usual baking self!
125g unsalted butter, softened
70g soft light brown sugar or light muscovado
Finely grated zest of 1 orange or lemon (optional)
100g wholemeal cake flour/fine plain wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
25g sunflower seeds
25g poppy seeds (optional)
3 medium eggs
3 tbsp milk or water
1 can of drained pears
About 20g flaked almonds or pumpkin seeds (or a mix)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Line a 20cm round springform cake tin with baking paper.
Put the butter and sugar, and the orange or lemon zest if using, into a large bowl or a free-standing electric mixer. Use an electric hand whisk or the mixer to beat for a couple of minutes, until light and fluffy.
In a second bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, sunflower seeds and poppy seeds, if using.
Add an egg and a spoonful of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mix and beat until evenly blended. Repeat to incorporate the remaining eggs. Tip in the remaining dry ingredients and fold together gently but thoroughly, finishing by folding in the milk or water to loosen the batter a little.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread it gently and evenly. Place the pears on top. Scatter with the flaked almonds and/or pumpkin seeds. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, or until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool, at least a little, on a wire rack.
Remove the cake from the tin and cut into slices to serve. It will keep in an airtight tin for up to 5 days, but you’ll most likely finish it well before then.