Date and Orange Cake

This is a traditional cake made using the “boil and bake” method.  It has no additional sugar only that naturally in the dried fruits and the sugar contained in the condensed milk.  It is easy, cannot fail and actually improves with keeping.  This cake will keep for several  weeks in a tin. I like it sliced thinly into fingers and served alongside other cakes, scones and patisserie for Afternoon Tea.


In a medium sized pan place the fruit, butter, orange zest, juice and condensed milk.  Stir regularly over a low heat until the butter has melted then turn up the heat and bring the mixture to the boil.  Once bubbling – cook for four minutes then take off the heat and give it a really good stir.  I like to then blitz my mixture with a hand blender to break down the fruit a little but this is entirely up to you.  Place the lid on the saucepan and leave to cool completely.

Once the mixture is cold stir in the two eggs making sure they are well incorporated and thus loosen the mixture.  Finally fold in the sifted flour, salt and ginger.

Transfer the thick mixture into the tin and smooth out.

Bake at 150°C fan (170°C non-fan, Gas Mark 3.5, 340°F) for 1 hour until the cake is slightly risen and firm to the touch.

Allow to cool completely in the tin then turn out and store in an airtight tin.  The flavour of this cake improves if it is stored for a week .

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