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Norfolk Vinegar Cake Recipe

A traditional fruit cake from East Anglia, now rarely seen. The vinegar reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to produce carbon dioxide, which helps to aerate the cake.

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Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians


For a 23cm cake:

- 225g Butter, cubed, and cold from the fridge
- 450g Self Raising Flour
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 225g Raisins
- 225g Sultanas
- 180ml Milk, plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) Bicarbonate of Soda


1. Rub the cold butter into the flour with your fingertips, until you have a crumb-like consistency.
2. Mix in the sugar and dried fruit. Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
3. Put the180ml of milk into a large jug and add the vinegar.
4. Mix in the bicarbonate of soda with the1 tablespoon of milk, and tip into the milk and vinegar. be careful, as it might froth-up and overflow - hence the large jug.
5. Stir the liquid into the flour mixture, mix well with a wooden spoon and pour into a cake tin.
6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C/Gas 3 and bake for a further 1-1¼ hours (checking after 1 hour). Cover the top with a piece of tin foil if it starts to look dark.

Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.

Reviews / Comments

( 5 out of 5 average rating)

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Sun 4th February 2018 by Adrienne Pentland


What did you like about the Recipe?

Very useful when you need a quick foolproof cake and you have no eggs ! Never not works.

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perhaps not a looker!good moist cakebut one slice wont be enough
perhaps not a looker!good moist cakebut one slice wont be enough