Tipsy Cake

08 Jan 2013

Tipsy + Cake. Two of my favourite things…which I suppose not so ironically also happen to marry well. I tend to file them in the “things that make you feel good” folder. Especially in the case of coupling a super dense + buttery Madeira with rum and apricot conserve. Don’t worry, if you want to share with the children use the booze on one half and leave the other alco-free like. Just don’t forget which part is which like I did. I first saw this cake on a sample of pretty vintage wallpaper in a magazine. Then, the tempting textile introduced itself to me again on a visit to Avoca, this time printed on craft paper. I think it is a signal that I should cover the farm kitchen in it….what do you think? Swoonworthy or twee? There are many other beautiful sweet treats featured in the pattern , but the snowy Tipsy Cake first caught my eye and will now forever strike my fancy.

Tipsy cake is classically found in Ireland, the UK, and I have now learned, also eaten in the American South. You will find many iterations of it in books and online, the only common denominator is the use of some form of liquor in which to soak the cake. I personally prefer to think of Tipsy Cake as an ornamental “ball supper cake” as described here. There is also a Mrs. Beeton recipe which calls for sponge cake adorned with thinly sliced almonds and then covered in custard which sounded lovely, but, alas, when I tried to make it I failed miserably. I tested a couple of different versions and decided to splash out and just create my own recipe. Like the wallpaper, my cake is meant to be decoratively covered in icing or cream, this is because you slice it all up, mortar with jam, and bash it back together. I told Geoffrey it was messy {fun} cake anatomy 101 class. He loved it. After that, you allow the spirits to slowly soak into the reconstructed cake. We poured royal icing over ours which is quite good at smoothing edges. Pop some sparklers on top and away you go….


This cake can last for over a week, and if kept under a cloche, improves in flavour with each passing day.

Enjoy.

Imen’s Tipsy Cake

Ingredients

175g/6oz butter, at room temperature

175g/6oz caster sugar

3 free-range eggs

250g/9oz self-raising flour

2-3 tbsp milk

1 lemon, zest only

60ml/4 tbsp apricot or red currant conserve

75ml rum, brandy, whiskey or sherry {optional and to your own taste}

Royal Icing

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease an 18cm/7in round or decorative cake tin, line the base with greaseproof paper and grease the paper. (if decorative tin, spray with nonstick)

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well between each one and adding a tablespoon of the flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture curdling.


Sift the flour and gently fold in, with enough milk to give a mixture that falls slowly from the spoon. Fold in the lemon zest. 


Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and lightly level the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Cover and leave overnight. 

Slice cake neatly into four equal pieces. Spread a generous amount of apricot or red currant (or jam of your liking) conserve on each slice and bash back together gently. Pour over white or dark rum , brandy, whiskey or sherry and allow to soak in completely. Prepare desired amount of royal icing as directed on package, and pour over the top of the cake. Allow to dry and harden. Decorate with sprinklers or candles, say “hurrah for Tipsy Cake!” and serve. Good morning, noon, or night.

 Slan Abhaile,

Imen

Photos and styling by Imen McDonnell 2012

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

· · · ◊ ◊ ◊ · · ·

13 Responses to “Tipsy Cake”

  1. This cake is so beautiful and your photos are so incredible. I love that the cake can last so long!

  2. Catherine Peterson says:

    hi again Imen – Tipsy Cake! What memories….in 1981 I was besotted with a college mate and spent my first Christmas with his wealthy West Virginia family. This was a family in which the men did the majority of special occasion cooking and my friend’s mother only did the dessert. Her dessert of choice for a 6 course Christmas dinner? Tipsy cake – which she declared was a ‘very old’ recipe from the Suffolk area of eastern Virginia. It was a lovely sponge-y cake, soaked in whisky and covered in custard. Delicious and thanks for the reminder!

  3. Lora says:

    I want to make all those cakes on that wallpaper. This one looks divine. I love Avoca. I scored a few gorgeous colorful mohair throws from their Dublin store a few years ago.

  4. Sonya says:

    Oh my goodness, I always feel good AND hungry after visiting your delicious site. And thanks, I’m loving your photos on Instagram. I’m @travelinggreen
    Happy New Year!

  5. Nathalie says:

    This looks delicious! Gorgeous pics too :)

  6. Looks delicious, love your recipe

  7. Yum! This looks fabulous, and such beautiful photography (:

  8. Caítríona says:

    That is a very flash Tipsy Cake compared to how we ate it as children! Goodness. I must go back over my old recipes now. Fab styling as always.

  9. Wildsherkin says:

    Your styling, as ever, is to die for! I savour each and every post.

  10. Donna Baker says:

    What a beautiful cake. Sounds like a Caribbean Rum Cake. They have a crunchy topping.

  11. First of all, looks and sounds incredible. Second, that wallpaper!!! I want it so badly!

  12. Kathryn says:

    At Dinner by Heston, there’s a dessert of a tipsy cake with some spit-roasted pineapple and it’s the stuff that dreams are made of. I never really knew what tipsy cake was (but was happy to eat it) but now I do, I can’t wait to try making it myself! Thank you for a delightful recipe and some stunning images.

    • imen says:

      Hi Kathryn, Yes, that image came up repeatedly in my search for Tipsy Cake recipes….I wanted the more ornamental style cake…so you’ve tried his? it did look delicious, guess I should try it as well..love pineapple prepared that way. Thanks for the comment! x

· · · ◊ ◊ ◊ · · ·

Leave a Reply