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Black Bun Recipe

This is type of Scottish fruit cake, made with dried fruit, but wrapped in shortcrust pastry.
It's traditional at Hogmanay, but should be made weeks before (if possible) so its flavour develops.
It's not difficult to make, and your efforts will be rewarded.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at - top-class dishes from beginners upwards

Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians


For an 8 ins/20cm oblong loaf tin:

A packet of frozen Shortcrust Pastry - weighing about 1 lb/500gr (or you can make your own - see Pastry; Shortcrust

- 1 lb/450gr Currants

- 1 lb/450gr Seedless Raisins

- 2 oz/50gr Flaked Almonds

- 2 oz/50gr Mixed Peel

- 6 oz/150gr Plain Flour - sifted

- 3 oz/75gr Dark Brown Sugar - unrefined if possible

- 1 level teaspoon/4ml Ground Allspice

- Half a teaspoon (2ml) of each of the following - Baking Powder, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Ginger

- A few grates of black Pepper

- 1 tablespoon (15ml) Brandy

- 1 large Egg - lightly beaten

- A little Milk

- A little Butter, if not using silicon paper

Equipment needed: A 8 ins/20cm, oblong, cake tin; some silicon/bakewell paper (optional); a large mixing bowl; a sieve


1. Line the loaf tin with silicon paper (wetting it a little, will help the paper stick. If not, rub a light butter evening over the dry loaf tin.
2. Roll the pastry out thinly, then cut it out carefully into five pieces to fit the bottoms and sides of the tin.
2. Line the loaf tin with the pastry, sealing the edges to seal the pastry shell.
3. Mix the currants, raisins, almond flakes, peel and sugar together.
4. Sift in the flour – this will give it a little air and add lightness.
5. Add the baking powder and spices, then add the brandy, most of the egg and enough milk to moisten the mixture.
6. Mix well.
7. Pack the filling into the pastry-lined cake tin, pinching the top edges and sealing them with a little egg or milk.
8. Heat the oven to 325ºF, 160ºC, Gas 3.
9. Make a few holes in the top of the cake, to allow any steam to escape.
10. Brush the top of the cake with a little more milk or any remaining egg.
11. Bake the cake in the oven for 2 to 2½ hours. A skewer should come out clean, when inserted in the centre of the cake.
12. Cool completely, before keeping in an air-tight tin.

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