Sand cake

This is a type of Madeira cake which is said to come from Cumberland and was popular in Edwardian times.

Ingredients

4oz butter
5oz caster sugar
3 eggs beaten
Grated rind of a lemon
6oz cornflour
1 tsp baking powder

Grease an oblong tin 8.5 x 4.5 inches and dust it with a mixture of a little extra sugar and cornflour. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time then add the lemon rind and fold in the cornflour and baking powder, sifted together. Put the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 75 mins. Leave the cake in the tin for a short time before turning it out

I was a bit dubious about this recipe, I’ve made a few cakes but never with cornflour like this. I guess one of the good things is that this is gluten free. I found a few references to sand cake but none involving solely cornflour, I also read somewhere that this type of cake makes a good base for birthday cakes, I will be bearing that in mind if I have to make a gluten free cake as I find gluten free flour a bit tricky sometimes. I was also worried about the tin; when I make cakes I always take the time to line my tins with greaseproof paper. This recipe specifically says to grease and dust the tin but not to line. I was tempted to line it anyway but thought I should trust the recipe and my tin!

After the full time baking it hadn’t risen as much as I had hoped. Was a lovely light golden, very firm to touch and smelling delicious. I left it in the tin for about 20 minutes before turning out, it came out fine, all in one piece!

We had this just warm and was delicious, I think it could’ve taken a bit more lemon, maybe adding some juice next time as well. It’s perfect with a cup of tea, was a slightly heavier texture than a Victoria sponge but was lovely. Quite crunchy on the outside but nice and soft inside. I think I may try this to use as base for an iced cake next time to see how it holds up to that.

Would I make this again? Yes, great sponge
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