> The Beesley Buzz: Boiled Bungalow Cake adapted from Emma Bridgewater 'Pattern' Book

Boiled Bungalow Cake adapted from Emma Bridgewater 'Pattern' Book

I'd never heard of a bungalow cake before and a google search has left me none the wiser. I've rarely made fruit cake either - I think last Christmas was my first time making fruit cake but when I saw this recipe in Emma Bridgewater's 'Pattern' book, it caught my eye.

In my usual way, I decided to try to make the recipe a little bit healthier. I know it is still cake but I always try to see if I can reduce the amounts of fat and sugar in cakes and after my Chocolate Beetroot cake bakeover turned out so well before, I keep trying in the hope of further successful bakes.

This time it wasn't 100% successful. The texture and moistness were perfect. It rose sufficiently well too. But I think adding so much bicarbonate of soda was my error as it gave the cake a peculiar taste. As I had reduced the amount of self-raising flour and egg in the recipe and switched the plain flour for wholemeal, my fear was it wouldn't rise and so I over-compensated by adding far more bicarb than I needed to. So that will be my main lesson for next time.

I adapted the quantities in the recipe to make a smaller cake and switched a few ingredients like swapping the caster sugar for a smaller amount of honey instead.

So here is the recipe I used once the changes had been made but do take note that the bicarb did affect the flavour of the cake so next time I will be using less!

225g mixed dried fruits (I used a mixture of what I found at home which was mixed dried fruit, dried apricots, dried cranberries and glace cherries)
150ml water
1 and a half tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g honey
88g stork
1 egg - beaten
50g self-raising flour
63g wholemeal flour

1. Pre-heat the oven to 130C (fan). Grease and line an 8inch cake tin.
2. Chop all the dried fruit to a small size (i.e. I chopped the larger dried apricots and glace cherries to match the size of the mixed dried fruit pieces).
3. In a pan, mix together the dried fruit, water, bicarb, honey and stork. Place on the hob and bring to the boil. Stir regularly and boil for 10 minutes. Then leave to cool.
4. Once cool, add in the egg and then sift in the flour. Mix together then pour into the cake tin.
5. I baked it for an hour. Check with a skewer to see if cooked through.

As I mentioned, the texture and moistness of this cake were perfect. It was just the bicarb that changed its flavour enough that the kids didn't enjoy it but me and Richard happily polished it off.

As for the book, despite not having any particular interest in the field of pattern and design (I still think my bottle design was more luck than skill), I found I really enjoyed reading the stories behind the Emma Bridgewater patterns. The more books I am reading, the more I am finding that I enjoy biographies and similar books that tell of real life people and their real life stories. I hadn't expected to find recipes in this particular book so that was a bonus too.


  1. I love it when I find a recipe in a place unexpected. I've never heard of a bungalow cake either, but I do not like the taste of soda. Even when I make soda bread I put in just enough and then spread it with something tangy to cover the taste, gooseberry jam is my favourite. Your cake does look lovely though, even if the taste wasn't perfect.

    1. yes me too - it feels like finding treasure. I normally don't mind the taste of soda but it was just way too much that i put in!

  2. This looks delicious! I love fruit cakes so I definitely think I would love this :) I have never heard of a Bungalow Cake either and this recipe has definitely got me curious to find out more xx

    1. thanks Yasmin. Yes i was pleased overall with how it turned out with a lesson to learn for next time about putting in less baking soda. x

  3. I too have never heard of a bungalow cake...though I must say it's a rather cute name. Your cake looks fab Rebecca, I tried the boiling method for the first time last year and it gave such a lovely moist cake too.
    Angela x

    1. thanks Angela. Will be trying it again and it was nice. x

  4. I've never heard of a bungalow cake either, but trying to think logically, perhaps its name indicates that it won't rise much, hence less bicarb

    1. I love your theory! I still haven't managed to find out. x


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