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English Rose View Drop Down
Cook's Assistant
Cook's Assistant

Joined: 23 April 2018
Location: England
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote English Rose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: CONSTANCE SPRY'S BELVOIR GINGER CAKE
    Posted: 03 May 2018 at 12:52

Hello everyone, Isn’t it strange how we all have our favourite Cookery authors. I inherited the only two Cookery books that my mum ever bought in her life. She bought them when she and my dad came over from Co Kerry to live in England, and she said she was eager to learn about English dishes and after going almost cross-eyed looking at all the cookery books, she chose the following two. I am so pleased she did because both women are  heroines to millions of housewives over the years here in the UK. Certainly for me.

The first is Mrs Isabella Beeton 1836 - 1865. The book  I am lucky to have is “Mrs Beeton’s book of Household Management”. Some of her recipes are fabulous, some make me go YUK! When I read the ingredients. (I guess that’s the early 19th century for you). But her cooking/baking skills were second to none.

The second, and my favourite for baking recipes - is the book  “Constance Spry Cookery Book” published in 1956.

Constance Spry 1886 - 1960. Even now, I would never do think to follow any recipe but her brilliant one  for “Constance Spry’s Belvoir Ginger Cake”. This is the recipe below exactly as she wrote it



(This must be made 1 or 2 days before you need it)

4 ounces butter

4 ounces brown sugar

4 ounces Sultanas

10 ounces (or one breakfast cup) black treacle                  (molasses to you)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 eggs

½ pound plain flour

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2-3 tablespoons milk

A few blanched split almonds or 1 piece of stem ginger drained from syrup and sliced.

Cream butter, add sugar, cream again thoroughly, then add the fruit, treacle, ginger and the eggs one at a time with half the flour.

Mix thoroughly. Add the remaining flour with the soda warmed in the milk. Turn out immediately into a greased, floured and paper lined 8 inch tin.

Bake in a slow oven for one hour or more. When ⅔ baked, scatter the top of the cake with the almonds or the preserved ginger. Finish baking.

This cake is excellent for picnics eaten with a wedge of cheese, Cumberland style.


Isn’t that lovely and simply written. No metric measurements from that lovely lady.

Hope you try it, The temptation will be to put into a cake tin for 24 hours so it can be enjoyed at its best.

Live Life every day as though it is your last.
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 9296
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2018 at 10:06
My wife and mother-in-law would love this - they really enjoy spiced cakes. I like them too, but I am trying not to eat so much of them, because of the consequences!
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