Modern Recipe Adaptation: A Good Cake (1/4 Original Recipe)


  • 4 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 48 ounces/9½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (the least amount of processing, the better)
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 2 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds 
  • 24 ounces Zante currants 
  • ½ pound butter, softened
  • 4 ounces/heaping1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • 8 ounces/1 cup cream
  • 4 ounces/½ cup Sherry
  • Additional 6 ounces of unsweetened dried fruit (cherries, strawberries, apricots, etc.) and 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 ounces sliced dates


  1. Start by making the ale yeast substitute* by whisking together the warm water and dry yeast. Set aside until needed, making sure that it bubbles and froths in that time.
  2. Whisk together the flour, spices, ground almonds, and currants. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the rosewater and yeast. Then beat in the flour mixture and mix until all of the flour is absorbed into the mixture.
  4. Place the dough in a large buttered bowl, cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour
  5. While the dough is rising, make the posset by whisking together the cream and sherry. Then, mix together the additional fruits, sliced dates and flour, making sure each piece of fruit is coated in the flour (to prevent it sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking). Finally, prepare a 12” x 4” round baking pan by greasing it and lining the sides with parchment paper so that the paper extends about 2-3 inches above the rim of the pan. The grease will make it adhere to the pan.**
  6. After the first rising, add the dried fruit and posset to the dough. If using an electric mixer, make sure to sue the dough hooks.
  7. Cover and set aside to rise for an additional 3 hours.
  8. Towards the end of the second rise, heat the oven to 350º F.
  9. Bake for about 65-75 minutes.***