Lilly Higgins provides a recipe for a traditional Irish forgotten favourite


  • 340 g (12oz) good quality white bread
  • 1 pot cold tea (chai, earl grey or normal)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 90 g (3oz) plain flour
  • 225 g (8oz) brown sugar
  • 54 g (2oz) butter
  • 2 tblsp mixed spice
  • 225 g (8oz) sultanas
  • 2 eggs
  • 0.25 pint milk
  • 2 tblsp marmalade
  • 1 lb readymade shortcrust pastry
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • juice of a lemon


  • Cover the stale bread with the cold tea. Leave to soak for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Squeeze the bread dry by pressing the mixture in a sieve over the sink.
  • Sift the flour with the baking powder, add the sugar. Rub in the butter and add the spices.
  • Add sultanas to the bread and mix well. Turn into the flour mixture and combine well.
  • Beat the eggs with the milk, add the marmalade and mix well with the bread.
  • Roll one half of the pastry to fit into the buttered baking tin (a rectangular 20.5x 32cm)
  • Prick the pastry base with a fork.
  • Spread the bread mixture over the pastry. Cover with the remaining pastry and pinch the edges together to seal. Prick the top with a fork.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 45mins until golden.
  • Leave to cool.


  • Mix the lemon juice with the sugar until thick. Add more icing sugar or hot water depending on how thick the icing is. Spread generously over the cake and slice once set.

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