Jute or Duke? That is the question

I regularly make a cake at The Howff, which I always assumed was called Jute cake.

I got the recipe from a very dear friend who lives in Port Seton. She used to make it all the time, and she called it Jute cake. 

It’s a very delicious cake, quite time consuming to make, and seems to be indigenous to the east coast of Scotland. Google hadn’t heard of it when I did some research (cue lots of hessian and jute bags for carrying cake). I presumed it had something to do with the Scottish linen, cotton and flax trade in the eighteenth century, and was imagining it being used as some sort of bartering system. In my imaginings, I never thought to consider the availability of all the ingredients, but nevertheless it was a nice daydream.

It consists of (from the bottom up):

  • shortcrust pastry case
  • jam (strawberry or raspberry) homemade, of course
  • sultanas
  • Madeira sponge
  • water icing

Turns out, I’ve been mishearing it the whole time, and it’s actually called Duke cake! Google is still none the wiser.

Oh, and I’ve just made a whole load of it, for sale tomorrow at the shop.


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