Porter Cake

Serves 10-12/vegetarian

This traditional Irish cake used porter, such as Guinness, Beamish or Murphy’s, and is deliciously rich and moist frit cake.  Make it a few days in advance of the celebratory event (it’s perfect for St Patrick’s Day) if you like, and it will improve even more!


  • 450g (1lb) plain flour
  • 1tsp grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225g (8 oz) light brown sugar
  • 450g (1lb) sultanas or raisins or a mixture of both
  • 75g (3 oz) hopped candied peel
  • 2 eggs
  • 1x 330ml bottle of porter or stout


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F), Gas mark.  Line the asides and base of a 20cm (8min) high-sided round cake tin (the sides should be about 7cm (23/4in) high) with greaseproof paper.
  2. Sieve the flour, nutmeg, mixed spice, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  Rub in the butter, and then stir in the sugar, sultanas or raisins and the candied peel.
  3. Whisk the eggs in another bowl, add the porter or stout, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Empty into the prepared tin and bake for about 2hrs in the preheated oven.  If it starts to brown too quickly on top, cover it with foil or greaseproof paper after about 1 hr.  The cake is cooked when skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Allow it to sit in the tin for about 20min before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.