A full-bodied dark cake to be enjoyed on late winter afternoons. Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed

Prep : 30 m
Cook : 60 m


    It’s been a labour of love, discovering the right balance of ingredients for a cake. Not too dense, but with enough body to make it satisfying. I am not one for icing. I prefer fresh cream and toffee sauce as topping. The result is this cake.

    Important note: All ingredients have to be at room temperature before starting, including eggs, butter and even the caramel sauce


    Very important - all ingredients have to be at room temperature before starting, including eggs, butter and even the caramel sauce


    225gm of all-purpose flour sifted with 1tspn baking powder and 1tspn baking soda

    225gm unsalted butter very soft

    150gm caster sugar

    50gm brown sugar

    30gm of sugar made into caramelised sauce (Take a pan, add the sugar, leave it covered on a low flame, for a few minutes. As it begins to darken and turn nutty, start swirling it around. You have to work fast. Add about 2tblspns of cooking cream in a thin stream while stirring continuously. Take off the flame. Stir. You will have a thick sauce. Yes, it needs a bit of effort.)

    4 big eggs (50+ gms)

    2 tspn of vanilla essence

    3 tblspn of milk or 2 tblspn cream

    1 nutmeg ground

    5 cloves ground

    1/2tspn cinnamon ground

    1/4tspn ginger powder

    Optional - 1 cup of black currants, golden raisins and Sultanas - all dry and dusted with some flour prior to adding.

    Oven pre-heated to 180°C


Cream the butter and sugar well Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed

Beat butter and sugar till light and airy. Separate the egg yolk and white. Put the egg whites in a cool glass bowl. Whip into stiff peaks. Keep aside

Add the egg yolks one at a time Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed

Add egg yolks one by one. Beat. Add vanilla essence. Beat.

Add flour sifted with baking powder and soda. Bit by bit. Add the spice powders.

Nutmeg add a wonderful Christmas flavour Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed

Add milk/cream alternately. Finally add the caramel sauce.

You have to work quickly for the caramel sauce Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed

Gently fold in the cup of fruit mix, if you’ve opted for it. And the egg whites, too. The movement is a gentle circle and pull down from the centre with a spatula.

Stiff peaks to form - bowl should be cool Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed

Pour the batter into a well-buttered 9-inch round baking tin.

The sugar and butter have to be creamed well Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed

Bake at 180° for 50+ minutes or more depending on your oven.

Check for done by inserting a wooden skewer in the center. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached, it is done. Then take it out. Cool, slice and serve.

Serving suggestion: With a dollop of whipped unsweetened double cream or homemade custard.