Stout Hearted Cake

Imbolc or Candlemas Day - 2nd February

Imbolc, also known as Candlemas, occurs six weeks after ‘Yule’ and six weeks before the Spring Equinox. The day when candles are blessed in the Churches and the Church of England celebrates the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

A Stout-Hearted Cake, so called because of the amount of stout used in the making of this cake, should really be made the week before (or sooner if possible) Candlemas when it is traditionally eaten. This is quite a heavy cake which was probably comforting in the colder months of the year. This cakes stores well, in fact it is better for being left to mature. It could be used as an alternative to Christmas cake.


225g wholemeal flour 1 tbsp golden syrup
100g plain flour 1 tbsp black treacle
½ tsp sea salt 75g butter
3 tsp baking powder 2 eggs
75g Demerara sugar 100g chopped dates
300 ml Stout (like Guinness) 175g mixed dried fruit


  1. Preheat the oven to 150C
  2. Grease an 8 inch round (20cm) cake tin with a little butter and line it with baking parchment. It is recommended to use a cake tin with a removable base to help get the cake out of the tin after baking.
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together then beat in the eggs – and mix thoroughly. Add the golden syrup (corn syrup), black treacle (molasses), and half the
  4. Stout (Guinness – 150ml) – stir gently.
  5. Add in the chopped dried fruit, flour (plain and wholemeal) sea salt and baking powder.
  6. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly together, adding in more Stout (Guinness) if necessary to make a pourable mixture.
  7. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven at 150C for about 2 hours. It is cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  8. Once baked, remove the cake tin from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then turn the cake out onto a wire rack. After 30 minutes, while the cake is still warm, place a little newspaper under the cooling rack and carefully pour over the rest of the Stout (Guinness – 150ml) so that the cake soaks it up.
  9. When fully cold, wrap the cake in greaseproof paper or baking parchment and store in an air-tight tin for a minimum of one week before cutting and serving.



Dried fruit

Stout Aile