These old-fashioned Granny cakes are adapted from a vintage Country Kitchen recipe. Country Kitchen a British magazine was discontinued many years ago. Country Kitchen also published a few magazine-like books. The book that contains the Granny cakes is titled Puddings Down Memory Lane  with the recipes collected by Clarissa Porter.
These adapted Granny cakes are delicious little vegan teatime buns flavoured with vanilla and filled with mixed dried fruit. Granny cakes are just wonderful with a nice cup of tea or coffee, and are so easy to bake with everyday pantry ingredients.
The only problem with these tasty Granny cakes is that it is difficult to just have one...its practically guaranteed everyone will want another.
This recipe is a definite, tried and tested many times, keeper! So do save it!
Doing a little research into Granny cakes I discovered that there are other types of Granny cake recipes. Although not so much like the current Granny cake recipe, as many of the other recipes contain pineapple and sometimes pecans, and I suspect this type of Granny cake has its roots in the US.
However, these little Granny cakes are British in origin and were fondly nicknamed Granny cakes by an everyday home baker many years ago, so probably had a different original name. Maybe along the lines of... fruit tea buns or sweet tea cakes... as they would have been served with hot cups of the recipients favourite beverage.
Granny cakes are the perfect buns to always have in the cake tub to treat your family and visitors to delicious home baking. These cakes are also perfect for charity cake sales and fundraisers, and for those times you need a bake that will please a crowd.
British Granny cakes are the simplest bake, with just a little mixing required before scooping the thick cake batter into cupcake or fairy cake paper cases and baking for 20-25 minutes. A dusting of icing sugar is a humble but fitting decoration.
The original recipe called for a traditional wooden spoon and a granny style mixing bowl to authentically prepare these Granny cakes but of course any mixing spoon or bowl will do just as well!
An old-fashioned granny style mixing bowl [Amazon ad link]:
An old-fashioned granny style wooden spoon [Amazon ad link]:
How to prepare old-fashioned Granny cakes
Granny cakes are so simple to bake and can be enjoyed warm shortly after baking.
Perfect for brunch, morning or Afternoon tea, cozy evening snacks or just whenever you fancy.
Cream the margarine and sugar together with a mixing spoon.
Add the apple sauce and vanilla essence.
Pour in the plant milk and beat the mixture briskly to incorporate.
Stir through the dried fruit mix.
Divide the cake batter between 12 cupcake/fairy cake paper cases.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Leave to cool completely on a wire rack or enjoy warm soon after removing from the oven.
Dust with icing/powdered sugar before enjoying.
Granny cakes can be stored within a cake tub, container or tin for 3-4 days. Although these little buns will probably be eaten by the 3rd day! And a second batch in the oven by the 4th!
Or freeze the Granny cakes [minus the powdered sugar topping] for 2-3 months. Wrap up well before freezing and store in a freezer proof container.
To refresh Granny cakes, pop them into a warm oven for a few minutes until warmed through.
Dried fruit mix or mixed dried fruit is a popular British baking ingredient and can be purchased as a mixture of dried fruits most commonly currants, sultanas, raisins and diced dried fruit peel.
Packages of dried fruit mix are usually used for fruit cakes, fruit loafs, fruit buns, steamed fruit puddings, Christmas cakes, to prepare homemade mincemeat for festive mince pies, etc.
Dried fruit mix is similar to trail mix but does not contain nuts, granola, chocolate drops or little sweets. Dried fruit mixes in other countries may also contain more exotic dried fruits such as peaches, mango, cherries, pineapple or papaya.
Dried fruit mix can be subbed for a mixture of individual dried fruits such as equal amounts of raisins, sultanas [golden raisins] and currants. A little amount of these dried fruits can also be removed and equal amounts of dried fruit peel added, if liked.
Alternatively, just use all raisins or currants or similar. Dried cranberries would be a tasty addition especially for the Holiday season.
More tasty tempting traditional bakes:
Old-fashioned golden syrup loaf
Vintage Scottish treacle scones
Old-school dinners jam and coconut sponge traybake
Old-school dinners chocolate sponge traybake
Old-Fashioned Granny Cakes
- paper cupcake/fairy cake baking cases
- Mixing bowl
- mixing spoon or similar. for mixing cake batter
- 175 grams self-raising flour [or plain/all-purpose flour with 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder plus a pinch of salt]
- 100 grams vegan margarine
- 100 grams granulated sugar [or caster sugar]
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 70 grams mixed dried fruit [or a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, or just use one dried fruit]
- 70 grams apple sauce [either home-made or shop bought]
- 3 tablespoon oat milk [or your usual milk]
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar [powdered sugar]
- Preheat the oven to 160 Fan / 180C / 356 Fahrenheit / Gas 4.
- Pop a paper baking case into each cup in the muffin baking tray.
- Add the margarine and sugar to a mixing bowl and beat for a few minutes with a wooden spoon or similar mixing spoon.100 grams vegan margarine, 100 grams granulated sugar
- Next add the apple sauce, vanilla and oat milk. Stir well to incorporate the ingredients. Don't worry if the mix looks split or curdled, this is fine, just beat and mix well.¾ teaspoon vanilla essence, 70 grams apple sauce, 3 tablespoon oat milk
- Sieve the flour [if using all-purpose/plain flour also add 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and pinch of salt] into the mixture. Stir the flour into the mixture until combined.175 grams self-raising flour
- Lastly stir through the dried fruit.70 grams mixed dried fruit
- Divide the cake batter between the 12 cupcake cases. Level the tops out a little, but not too much, just until they look a bit more even on the surface.
- Bake on the middle shelf for 25 minutes or until cakes are risen, golden and a skewer popped in comes out clean.[If using a fan oven check after 20 minutes as fan ovens tend to bake faster.]
- Cool in the baking pan for about 5-10 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.
- Sieve icing/powdered sugar over to decorate.1 tablespoon icing sugar
- These little teatime cakes can be enjoyed warm soon after they come out of the oven or at room temperature. The icing sugar can still be added even though the cakes are warm.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Store Granny cakes for 3-4 days. Although these tasty cakes are almost guaranteed to be gone well before the third day!
- Granny cakes can be frozen for 2-3 months. Wrap well with food wrap and place into a freezer-safe food container.
- Refresh Granny cakes by popping into a warm oven for a few minutes just to warm through. A little extra powdering of icing sugar can be added after warming, if liked.
- Instead of ready prepared dried fruit mix replace with roughly equal quantities of currants, raisins, and sultanas. Or just use one dried fruit such as raisins.
Prepared these tasty vegan Granny cakes?
We would love to know how you got on. All comments and feedback are very much appreciated.
Snapped a photo of your delicious bake to share on social media?
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So we can admire your good cooking.
All the best. Jacq x
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