Bonfire Cake


  • 85g (3 oz) soft butter
  • 125g (5 oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 55g (2 oz) self raising flour
  • 55g (2 oz) plain flour
  • 25g (1 oz) ground almonds
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 25g (1 oz) cocoa
  • 85ml (3 fl oz) milk
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup 

The Icing

  • 55g (2 oz) soft butter
  • 175g (6 oz) icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 tbsp cocoa dissolved in a little hot water


  • 4 Flake bars, split vertically
  • Ready to roll icing, coloured orange and red 

Grease a 1.1 litre (2 pint) pudding basin.

Cream together the butter and sugar then gradually add the egg, alternating with a little of the flour. Add the remaining flours, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa, milk and syrup. Mix well together. Place the mixture into the pudding basin and cover with a circle of non-stick baking parchment, pleat a piece of foil over this and tie tightly with string.

Stand the pudding basin in a Rayburn Saucepan and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the basin, cover with the lid.

Main Oven 120 C (250 F), Gas Mark L-1 or Cast Iron Oven in slow cooking mode

Simmer on the hotplate for 15 minutes then transfer the pan, pudding and water to the floor of the oven and continue to steam for 1.5 - 2.5 hours.  No topping up will be required.  

Alternatively, continue steaming on the hotplate, topping up with boiling water as necessary.  Steam the cake on the hotplate, topping up the hot water as necessary.

To complete the bonfire cake, make up the butter icing by gradually beating the butter with the icing sugar, then beat in the cocoa mixture. Spread over the cake and arrange the chocolate flakes to represent a bonfire. Make up flames from the ready to roll icing and decorate the cake.


Tip: to make it easier to lift out the basin in and out of the saucepan, when cooking is finished, make a collar of folded foil to go around and under the basin.