Dripping cake

A traditional cake from James Martin, enriched with beef dripping and redolent with sweet spices. Great for a picnic
By James Martin
Dripping cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 6 slices
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium



  • 140 g brown sugar
  • 85 g clarified beef dripping
  • 225 g mixed dried fruit and mixed candied peel
  • 225 ml water
  • oil, for greasing
  • 225 g wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

To serve:

  • unsalted butter or clotted cream
  • raspberry jam


1. Put the sugar, dripping, dried fruit and candied peel into a saucepan. Add the water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, then allow to cool in the pan.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Grease and line a 18cm cake tin.

3. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Add the cooled dried fruit mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon, gradually drawing in the flour from around the edge of the well, until you have a smooth batter.

4. Spoon into the prepared tin. Bake for about 40 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

5. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

6. Cut into slices and serve thickly spread with butter or clotted cream, and raspberry jam.

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