If you are looking for a simple yet delicious cake that is perfect for any occasion, you might want to try this Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake Recipe. This is a traditional British cake that is made with caraway seeds, which are known for their distinctive anise flavor. Mary Berry is a famous British chef and cookbook author who has shared her version of this classic cake in her cookbook. In this article, I will show you how to make this cake step by step, and also give you some tips and tricks to make it even better.
What is Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake?
Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake is a traditional British cake that is made with caraway seeds, which are small, brown, crescent-shaped seeds that have a nutty and slightly salty flavor. Caraway seeds are often used in savory dishes, such as bread, cheese, and sauerkraut, but they also work well in sweet cakes, giving them a unique and subtle taste. Mary Berry is a famous British chef and cookbook author who has shared her version of this classic cake in her cookbook. Her recipe is simple and easy to follow, and it produces a light, fluffy, and moist cake that is perfect for any occasion.
Why You’ll Love This Caraway Seed Cake Recipe
This Caraway Seed Cake Recipe, a Mary Berry classic, is sure to become a favorite for its delightful qualities:
- Exquisite Texture: Its airy, fluffy consistency combined with a moist crumb simply melts in your mouth, offering an exceptional eating experience.
- Perfectly Balanced Sweetness: The cake’s subtle sweetness harmoniously complements the distinctive, earthy aniseed notes of the caraway seeds, creating a unique flavor profile.
- Ease of Preparation: This recipe is a breeze to make, utilizing simple, commonly available ingredients that may already be in your pantry.
- Versatility in Serving: Perfect as a dessert, a midday snack, or even as a delightful breakfast or brunch item, this cake adapts to any meal setting.
- Nostalgic Appeal: For many, this recipe evokes fond memories, making it a dish that comforts and connects generations.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake
To make this Caraway Seed Cake Recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 175g softened butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1½ tsp caraway seeds
- zest of 1 lemon
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake
Making this Caraway Seed Cake is straightforward. Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Tin
First, you need to preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Then, you need to grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. This will help the cake to come out easily and prevent it from sticking to the tin.
Step 2: Mix the Flour and Baking Powder
Next, you need to mix the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl and set it aside. The baking powder will help the cake to rise and become fluffy.
Step 3: Beat the Butter and Sugar
In a large bowl, you need to beat the butter and caster sugar together with an electric mixer until they are light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. The butter and sugar will create air bubbles that will make the cake tender and moist.
Step 4: Add the Eggs
Then, you need to gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, into the butter and sugar mixture. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula after each addition. The eggs will provide structure and richness to the cake.
Step 5: Fold in the Flour Mixture, Milk, Caraway Seeds, and Lemon Zest
Next, you need to fold in the flour mixture, followed by the milk, caraway seeds, and lemon zest, into the butter and sugar mixture. To fold, you need to use a spatula or a metal spoon and gently cut through the mixture, lifting and turning it over, until everything is well combined. Do not overmix, as this will make the cake tough and dense. The flour will provide the base of the cake, the milk will add moisture, the caraway seeds will add flavor and crunch, and the lemon zest will add a fresh and zesty touch.
Step 6: Spoon the Mixture into the Tin and Smooth the Top
Then, you need to spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Make sure to spread the mixture evenly and fill the corners of the tin.
Step 7: Bake for 50-55 Minutes or Until a Skewer Comes Out Clean
Finally, you need to bake the cake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown too quickly, you can cover it loosely with foil halfway through the baking time. The cake is done when it is golden and springy to the touch.
Step 8: Leave the Cake to Cool in the Tin for 10 Minutes Before Removing and Transferring to a Wire Rack to Cool Completely
Once the cake is baked, you need to leave it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing it and transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. This will help the cake to set and prevent it from breaking or crumbling.
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake?
Mary Berry’s Caraway Seed Cake is versatile enough to be enjoyed in various ways:
- Enjoy it Plain: The cake’s rich flavor allows it to stand alone splendidly without any accompaniments.
- With Whipped Cream: Add a dollop of whipped cream for a luxurious, creamy contrast that enhances the cake’s flavors.
- Complemented by Jam: Pair it with jams like strawberry, raspberry, or apricot for a delightful burst of fruity sweetness.
- Cheese Pairing: Serve with cheese varieties such as cheddar, brie, or cream cheese to introduce a savory depth to the cake’s sweet notes.
- Tea Pairing: A cup of tea, be it black, green, or herbal, makes for a warm, soothing companion to this delightful cake.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake
Elevate your Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake with these expert tips:
- Softened Butter: Ensure your butter is softened, not melted or cold, to achieve the right cake texture and flavor. Leave it at room temperature for about an hour or gently microwave for 10-15 seconds.
- Caster Sugar: Opt for caster sugar (superfine or baker’s sugar) over granulated sugar for a smoother, finer crumb. It’s readily available in most supermarkets or online.
- Fresh Caraway Seeds: Use only fresh caraway seeds to guarantee the best flavor and aroma. Purchase them from the spice section or grind whole seeds at home using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
- Fresh Lemon Zest: Incorporate fresh lemon zest rather than bottled or dried versions for a vibrant, zesty flavor. Use a microplane grater, zester, or vegetable peeler to remove the yellow skin, avoiding the bitter white pith.
- Ground Almonds Addition: Adding about 50g of ground almonds to your batter can enhance the cake’s texture and add a subtle nutty flavor. Remember to reduce the flour by the same amount.
- Lemon Icing: A simple lemon icing, made by mixing icing sugar and lemon juice to a smooth consistency, can be drizzled over the cooled cake for a sweet and tangy finish.
Variations of Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake
Explore these delightful variations of the classic recipe:
- Orange Caraway Seed Cake: Swap lemon zest with orange zest and use orange juice for the icing, lending the cake a refreshing citrus twist.
- Chocolate Caraway Seed Cake: Introduce cocoa powder into the flour mix and replace caraway seeds with chocolate chips for a rich, chocolaty version.
- Carrot Caraway Seed Cake: Incorporate grated carrot into the batter and top with cream cheese frosting, offering a moist texture and a creamy, tangy topping.
How to Store Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake Leftovers
Store your Caraway Seed Cake leftovers efficiently:
- Room Temperature Storage: Wrap them in plastic wrap or foil, or place in an airtight container, and store at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to a week.
- Freezing: For longer storage, wrap them tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
How to Reheat Mary Berry Caraway Seed Cake Leftovers
Reheat your cake leftovers to enjoy them fresh:
- Microwave: Warm them for 10-15 seconds in the microwave until soft.
- Oven: Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 for 5-10 minutes until warm and rejuvenated.
- Toaster Oven: Toast for a few minutes for a warm, crisp texture.
Nutrition value (per serving, based on 10 servings):
- Calories: 411
- Fat: 24.3g
- Carbs: 40g
- Protein: 5g
Related Recipes to Try
What is Caraway Seed Cake?
Caraway Seed Cake is a traditional British dessert infused with caraway seeds, known for their nutty, slightly salty flavor. These seeds, typically used in savory dishes, add a unique taste to this sweet cake. Made with common ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and milk, it’s often enhanced with lemon zest or ground almonds. Baked in a loaf tin, it’s enjoyed with whipped cream and tea.
How Can I Ensure My Cake Rises Well?
To ensure a good rise, make sure your baking powder is fresh as it loses potency over time. Also, be careful not to overmix the batter once the flour is added; overmixing can develop gluten, leading to a denser cake. Finally, bake the cake as soon as the batter is ready, as leaving it to sit can cause the baking powder to lose its effectiveness.
Why is my caraway seed cake dry and crumbly?
A dry and crumbly caraway seed cake can result from several baking issues:
Overbaking: This is a common reason for dryness. Check the cake after 45 minutes with a skewer. If it’s not done, give it 5-10 more minutes.
- Overmixing the Batter: This makes the cake tough. Gently fold in the ingredients just until combined.
- Incorrect Flour Measurement: Too much flour can dry out the cake. Measure it correctly by spooning it into a cup and leveling it off, or weighing 175g.
How can I make my caraway seed cake more moist and tender?
- Add Yogurt, Sour Cream, or Buttermilk: About 1/4 cup of these can enhance moisture. Reduce the milk accordingly.
- Use Oil: Vegetable, canola, or olive oil (about 1/4 cup) can make the cake tender. Decrease the amount of butter used.
- Brush with Simple Syrup: Applying a mixture of sugar and water or lemon juice and sugar after baking adds moisture. Use around 1/4 cup, and poke holes in the cake for better absorption.
- Answer: Yes, you can make this cake dairy-free. Replace the butter with a plant-based alternative like margarine or coconut oil. For the milk, any non-dairy milk like almond, soy, or oat milk works well. These substitutions should not significantly alter the texture or taste of the cake.