Friday, 29 June 2012

tea cake

today i caught up with my friend robyn whom i've known for 44 years..we met at the age of 17 years when we started nursing at the royal melbourne hospital (rmh) those days nurses in australia typically did 3 months preliminary training before starting work on the wards..for those first 3 months we lived in trawalla mansion in toorak and each day we were taken by bus to classrooms on the grounds of the i'd only been in melbourne a few months i was unaware of the significance of the suburb we were living in..for the remainder of our training we lived in the nurses home on the grounds of the hospital..

i went overseas almost immediately upon completion of my nursing training but robyn and i caught up again a couple of years later when when she came to stay with me in athens..we didn't see each other again though until i returned to australia another 4 years was then that we became a lot closer as we discovered mutual interests such as vegetable gardening, eating and cooking seasonally, cooking generally and foraging for blackberries and so on..we started to make our christmas cakes and puddings together way back then too and it's a tradition that we continue to uphold..

in the last 5-6 years we've caught up quite regularly..we tend to take it in turns to go the others' house for lunch and to have a day sewing or drawing (robyn) with lots of cups of tea and talking..we enjoy cooking for each other because we know that the effort we make and the ingredients we use are appreciated..home grown and home made produce is always talked about a lot and given due respect..

i've made this tea cake many many times over the years especially when my children were little because it was an easy cake to make when i was really busy..i loved bathing the children, putting them in their warm pyjamas, sitting them next to a warm fire and giving them a warm piece of tea cake and a hot made them and me i made this recipe for robyn because she'd had invasive dental work yesterday and i particularly wanted to provide her with warming cake to have with our morning cup of tea.. 

tea cake

adapted from the victoria sandwich recipe in
magimix recipe book (circa approx 1982)


~preheat oven to 175 deg c
~butter and line a 24 cm x 11 cm loaf tin


150 gms butter ( i used myrtleford butter)
150 gms castor sugar
150 gms self raising flour (srf)
1/2 teaspoon (tsp) baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 large eggs (i use spring plains biodynamic eggs)
additional 1/4 cup of castor sugar mixed with 2-3 tsp powdered cinnamon
extra 15 gms butter


~cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
~add vanilla
~add eggs one at a time beating well between each addition
~add flour and beat until the batter is smooth
~evenly distribute the batter in the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer
~remove cake from the tin to a cake rack
~dot the extra butter evenly over the top surface of the still hot cake and sprinkle thickly with the cinnamon and sugar mix 

serve warm or at room temperature 

robyn gave me the serviettes earlier this year..i love them!

do you have any cakes that you and your family love that you've made for years.. 


  1. Simple but so yummy!
    Have a wonderful weekend my friend!

    1. thanks's very simple but that's part of its charm..i hope you have a wonderful weekend too..x

  2. hello
    the cake look very delicious!!!!thanks for the recipe!!! i will it try.
    have a nice weekend,

  3. hi regina..thanks for visiting..i hope you enjoy the cake if you make it..i hope you have an enjoyable weekend too..

  4. This is a lovely story of friendship Jane. Also a lovely memory of your children having this cake in front of the fire. My mum used to make a cake like this and I loved the sugar and cinnamon on top! Another delicious recipe x

    1. oh thanks jane..i enjoyed writing the little story about my mother used to make it too and i had such fond memories that i continued the tradition with my own will be interesting to see if they make it for their children..x

  5. i have just found your blog via Jane (above - hello!). this looks like a "good plain cake" and i love a "good plain cake". you have reminded me i have not one for many months, being seduced by fruity cakes and puddings instead. time for a buttery cake like this. thankyou!

  6. thanks e..your fruity cakes and puddings sound wonderful..jane