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This is one of my favourite store cupboard bakes, so called because I always have the ingredients in the cupboard and can bake it whenever the mood takes me.  It can be cooked in an assortment of tins – I usually bake it in a loaf tin so that it can be sliced easily and, if I don’t want the temptation of cake lying around, I store it in the freezer so that I can defrost slices of it as and when required.


  • 350ml of strong tea
  • 115g mixed fruit
  • 86g margarine
  • 86g soft brown sugar
  • 280g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda


  1. Preheat oven 180C/160Fan/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease and flour tin
  3. Boil the tea, fat, sugar and fruit together in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes
  4. Allow to cool slightly
  5. Meanwhile sieve the flour, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl
  6. Add the cooled liquid to the flour mixture and beat thoroughly
  7. Fill your prepared tin
  8. Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes and then turn down the oven by 20 degrees and bake for a further 30 minutes – a skewer inserted should come out cleanly; if not, bake for a further 5 minutes or until cooked through
  9. Leave to cool – this cake keeps well wrapped in foil.
Pauline Mardell

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