Yorkshire Rose Tea Cake

Recipe #13

Ah, Spring; the season of awakening.  The time when the slumbering greenery and blossoms are roused from their repose by the gentle hand of the brightening sun.  They rub the sleep from their eyes and scatter their rainbow glory across the grey and beleaguered vistas of departing winter.  So why the blazes am I looking out of my window right now at snowdrifts and icicles?

Well, I’m afraid I have to hold my hand up and make a confession here.  This unseasonable cold snap is mostly my bad.  You see what with the imminent approach of Cake-pocalypse, I thought it might be a good idea to dust off my Doomsday Machine and have a bit of a tune up and a tinker.  You know, just to make sure that when the time comes to wreak, death, destruction and despair everything is in good working order.  Unfortunately I must have nudged a switch or something accidentally while reaching for my Phillips head screwdriver; because I have only just now noticed that the death ray app has been set to Ice Age.

Fortunately the dial was turned right down to a lower test configuration.  A good thing too, otherwise right now we’d be buried under a mile deep glacier or up to our necks in abominable snowmen.  Nevertheless, I am really genuinely sorry for this silly little mishap.  So I am going to make it up to you with a nice, comforting, homely cake recipe to have with your Earl Grey while you snuggle under your blanket with a hot water bottle and prop your feet up in front of a 40 watt light bulb as you try desperately to stop the frost bite from taking away your toes….




  • A large bowl
  • A small bowl
  • A colander
  • Cling film
  • A mixing spatula


  • 300 millilitres of strong, Yorkshire Tea
  • 225 grams of sultanas
  • 75 grams of currants
  • 75 grams of raisins
  • 75 grams of glazed cherries, chopped
  • 50 grams of mixed peel
  • 75 grams of prunes

A Yorkshire Teacake is basically a fruitcake but lacking any hint of namby-pamby.  Up here in T’North, we like our fruitcakes rugged and raffish and with stubble that you could use to sand down a fishing boat.  This cake get’s its Northern oomph from a hearty splash of Yorshire Tea, as dark and brooding as Heathcliff on a Friday evening when Cathy has got a face on and is ignoring his text messages…

Place two Yorkshire Teabags into a bowl and pour 300 millilitres of boiling hot water over them.  Leave the tea aside to brew and cool:

IMG_5217Weigh out the fruit:
IMG_5218Now, the main problem with making a fruitcake (I think I have mentioned this before), is sinking fruit.  There are two reasons why this can happen; firstly the cake batter being too thin.  The other reason is the fruit itself.  A lot of dried fruit these days is sprayed with a thin layer of vegetable which can make it quite slippery.  You can get around this by dredging the fruit in flour, thus increasing the surface friction of the fruit.  However, for this recipe we are going to the soaking the fruit.  So we will need to get rid of the vegetable oil all together.

Place the weighed fruit into a colander and put it into a large bowl.  Fill the bowl with cold water and leave the fruit to soak for five minutes.  Note the yellowish film on the surface of the water; that is the vegetable oil being cleansed away:
IMG_5219After five minutes, remover the colander from the bowl, rinse the fruit under the cold tap.  Then put the fruit onto some kitchen towel to drain for a couple of minutes:
IMG_5220Transfer the fruit into a large bowl and pour the tepid tea over it, stirring with a spatula to coat all the fruit:
IMG_5221Cover the bowl with some cling film and then leave in a cool dry place (not the fridge) for the fruit to soak in the tea overnight for a minimum of twelve hours:




  • A large bowl
  • A small bowl
  • An 8 inch, loose base deep cake tin
  • Baking paper
  • Cling film
  • Tin foil
  • An electric mixer
  • A mixing spatula
  • String
  • A cooling rack


  • 225 grams of plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice
  • 225 grams of dark brown sugar
  • 225 grams of butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of black treacle
  • 2 tablespoons of quince jelly, taken from a 227 gram jar
  • The soaked fruit

Preheat the oven to 150˚C/300˚F/Gas Mark 2.
Prepare your cake tin.

Cut out two circles of baking paper to fit the base of the cake tin.  Then cut out two strips of baking paper, each slightly longer than half the circumference of the cake tin and wide enough so that the edges will rise about two inches above the edge of the tin:
IMG_5224Grease the base plate of the cake tin with vegetable oil and line it with one of the paper circles:
Oil the sides of the tin and drop the lined base into position:
IMG_5226Line the oiled sides of the tin with the two strips of paper, making sure they overlap:
IMG_5227Place the second circle of baking paper into the base of the tin:
IMG_5228This is a loose based tin and they do have a tendency to leak.  It’s not a big problem as the cake batter will bake solid in the base quite quickly and form a seal that will prevent any significant quantity of the batter from draining away.  Nevertheless it can leave a bit of a mess in your oven.  To guard against this line the outside of the tin first with an inner layer of cling film and then with an outer layer of tin foil:
IMG_5229 IMG_5230Cut out a long strip of baking paper and wrap it around the outside of the cake tin.  Hold it secure by tying it into place with some string.  This is to create a barrier to help prevent the top of the cake from burning as this cake is going to be in the oven for a long time:
IMG_5232Measure out all the dry ingredients into a bowl; the flour, salt and spices:
IMG_5233Whisk the butter in a bowl until pale:
IMG_5235Add the sugar and whisk thoroughly until the mixture is light brown and fluffy and then whisk in the black treacle:
IMG_5236 IMG_5237Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then mix in two tablespoons of quince jelly:
IMG_5238 IMG_5239Fold in the dry ingredients:
IMG_5243…And then stir in the tea soaked fruit:
IMG_5244 IMG_5245Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin.  cover the top of the tin with a sheet of baking paper with the edges folded down and bake for between 2.5 to 3 hours.  Test for done-ness by inserting a toothpick into the centre of the cake.  If the toothpick comes out clean then the cake is done:
IMG_5246 IMG_5251Leave the cake in the tin to cool for half an hour.  Then remove the outer wrappings and extract the cakes by placing the tin onto a jar and pushing down on the sides.  Remove the cake from the base plate, but make sure one of the two circles of baking paper is still attached to the cake before you leave it to cool completely on a cooling rack:
IMG_5252 IMG_5253




  • A 10 inch cake board
  • A cake decorating turntable
  • A saucepan
  • A pastry brush
  • A large bowl
  • A mixing spatula


  • The remainder of the 227 gram jar of quince jelly
  • 500 grams of ground almonds
  • 250 grams of icing sugar
  • 250 grams of caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of almond extract
  • 16 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 4 tablespoons of milk (if needed)

We’re going to be covering this cake with some nice homemade marzipan.  Traditionally marzipan is made with raw egg, but some people are a bit wary of that because of health issues.  Well you don’t need to worry about that with this recipe, because this is my own special egg free marzipan recipe.  In place of the egg I have substituted golden syrup… 16 tablespoons of golden syrup to be exact.  I said it was egg free, not low fat.  Suddenly the idea of a bit of raw egg food poisoning doesn’t sound so bad, does it?  At least you’d lose weight…

Before we get to the marzipan itself, we’re going to coat the cake with some sticky stuff; this will act as a glue and also as a barrier to help hold in the moisture of the cake.

Peel the baking paper away from the base of the cooled fruitcake.  Place the cake on a cake board set on top of a cake decorating turntable.  Tip the remaining quince jelly from the 227 gram jar into a sauce pan and warm it over a medium low heat until you have a smooth syrup consistency:
IMG_5259IMG_5260 IMG_5261Pour the warmed jelly onto the cake and spread evenly all over with a pastry brush:
IMG_5262 IMG_5263Clean the edges of the cake board with some kitchen towel and leave the coated cake aside for the jam to set.  Now for the magical marzipan:

Into a large bowl mix together the ground almonds and sugars.  Add the almond extract and the first four tablespoons of golden syrup and stir in.  Continue to add the syrup four tablespoons at a time until the whole mixture can be need together by hand into a firm dough-like ball.  The marzipan should be slightly sticky, but come away cleanly from the sides of the bowl and from your hands.  If the marzipan still hasn’t come together after all that syrup, just add a few tablespoons of milk (or more syrup if you like to live dangerously):
IMG_5254 IMG_5255IMG_5257




  • Cling film
  • A rolling pin
  • A small sharp kitchen knife
  • A Yorkshire Rose Template (included below)
  • A4 sheet of white card
  • A4 sheet of clear plastic
  • A Sharpie pen
  • A craft knife
  • Fondant modelling tools
  • Leaf plunger cutters
  • Edible gold paint
  • A thin paint brush


  • The prepared cake
  • The prepared marzipan

Almost time to but the kettle on.  We just have one final stage to complete.  This is a YORKSHIRE Teacake, so it is only right that we should decorate this cake to honour the greatest county in the entire universe.  That’s not my opinion. it’s a scientifically proven fact.

This is a template for our beloved county emblem, the scared White Rose of the House of York.  Print it out onto an A4 sheet of card.  Cut the template out of the card with a craft knife.  Trace the pattern onto a sheet of clear plastic and cut that out to form the template:
Rose Template 1 copy 2IMG_5281Take about half the marzipan and roll it out between two sheets of cling film:

Once it reaches a size of 12 inches all around and a thickness of about 5 millimetres, peel away the top layer of cling film.  Lift the rolled marzipan by sliding your hand under the bottom layer of cling film.  Flip the marzipan over onto the top of the cake and smooth it with your hands across the top and down the side.  Leave the cling film attached at this point as it will help to leave a smooth, fingerprint free finish.  Once the cake is covered to your satisfaction, you can peel away the cling film:
IMG_5265 IMG_5266Cut away the excess marzipan from around the base of the cake with a small kitchen knife.  Leave a few millimetres of excess marzipan and then press them flat with the flat face of the knife:
IMG_5267 IMG_5268The cake is now ready to decorate:

Roll out the remaining marzipan as before until you get it to about 10 inches all around to a thickness of about 5 millimetres.  Place the plastic rose template onto the top layer of cling film.  Cut around the rose template and through the cling film with the craft knife.  Remove the excess pieces of the top layer of cling film:
IMG_5282 IMG_5283IMG_5284With the plastic template still attached to maintain the integrity of the shape, lift the rose away from the cling film and onto the top of the cake, taking care to get it as dead centre as you can:
IMG_5285Peel away the template and the remaining cling film and start to smooth the edges of the rose with your fondant modelling tools:
IMG_5286 IMG_5287IMG_5288You should have a good chunk of marzipan still remaining.  Roll out a small amount of it and cut out the centre of the rose pattern.  You don’t really need to cut this piece out of plastic; the original cardboard master should suffice:
IMG_5289Place it into the centre of the rose on the cake.  Smooth down the edges and poke a spiral pattern of indentations with your modelling tools:
IMG_5290 IMG_5291Roll out small balls of marzipan about the size of pin head and dot them into a circular pattern onto the centre:
IMG_5292Roll out yet more marzipan and cut out some leaf shapes using the plunger cutters.  Arrange the leaves into the appropriate positions onto the rose:
IMG_5293 IMG_5295Now we’re going to make some marzipan roses.  Don’t be afraid; they are really quite easy to do once you get the hang of the technique.  To make one rose, roll out six marble sized pieces of marzipan:
IMG_5296Take one of these balls and flatten it between your fingers into an oval:
IMG_5297Roll it lengthways to form the centre of the rose:
IMG_5298Flatten another two marzipan balls to form the next layer of petals.  Apply them to opposite sides of the centre petal.  Flatten out the remaining three petals and apply them to form a third layer of petals, making sure they overlap each other:
IMG_5299Cut away the excess marzipan at the base of the rose:
IMG_5300Cut out two more marzipan leaf shapes:
IMG_5301Place the leaves onto the base of the cake and then press the marzipan rose on top of them:
IMG_5302Repeat this process to make five roses, or as many as you wish.  I only made five because my time is precious and I have evil plots to hatch:
IMG_5303Now for some sparkly magic.  I love shiny things; especially if they also happen to be edible.  Here’s some edible gold paint:
IMG_5308Apply it delicately at strategic points around the marzipan to highlight the pattern:
IMG_5309 IMG_5311And there you have it; a cake fit for a king… as long as he’s not a Lancastrian….
IMG_5312 IMG_5337IMG_5338And now I have a small confession: I am not actually a Yorkshire man by birth.  I’ve only lived here since I was three.  I was in fact born in the Midlands, specifically Dudley near Birmingham.  But that’s just between us, right?  It doesn’t leave this blog….

PorkinsHasAProblem(BesidesObesity)-ANH 2 copy


6 thoughts on “Yorkshire Rose Tea Cake

  1. I’ve just spent ages looking through you blog! It’s so good…love the nutritional advice part. And you’re really talented with the decoration 😀

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