The Ultimate King Alfred Burnt Cake Recipe

King Alfred Cake Recipe

Since lockdown, a lot of us have become keen bakers. Below is a step-by-step guide to make the ultimate King Alfred burnt cake. We use this sponge recipe at The Castle and, with the Chef’s tips below, you should get a perfect rise each time – no more soggy bottoms and saggy cakes!

Above is a cake we made at home with the kids for VE day; it’s Lemon curd with lemon butter cream, but you can replace this with apple curd and for the glaze use apple juice with caramel for the burnt effect.

I will post my King Alfred later and I would love to see some of yours if you could share too. Happy Baking and Happy Somerset day 2020! xox



9 oz butter
9 oz caster sugar
3 whole large eggs
12oz self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
20ml milk

  • Cream together butter and sugar until white and fluffy
  • Beat eggs in bowl separately with the vanilla extract, then add to the above.
  • With a spatula fold in sifted flour, baking powder.
  • The mix might be a little thick so add the milk – sometimes it may not need this.
  • This mix is ideal for 3, 8 inch rings, make sure they are non stick and put a layer of baking paper at the bottom as sometimes the mix can get caught. Any tin will work, but you may need to adjust cooking time accordingly. The more mix there is in a tin, the longer it will take- keep an eye that the it doesn’t catch.
  • Bake at 170c for 20 mins

Apple Curd

250g cooking apple – cored and chopped roughly
2 lemons juiced and zested
50g butter unsalted
100g sugar
3 large eggs
clove, cinnamon and cardamom – optional

  • Core and chop apple roughly cook in a pan with spices and lemon zest with 50 ml of water. When cooked press through a sieve or blend in food processor and leave to the side and allow to cool – remove spices.
  • Bring lemon juice, sugar and butter to boil. Remove from heat and add eggs slowly, continually mixing. When eggs are cooked out gently fold in puree and taste- it may need more lemon or sugar

Apple Icing 

Just simply add apple juice to icing sugar until a smooth consistency

Chef’s tips

  • Ensure all ingredients are room temperature – planning is key pull the ingredients out 1-2 hours before or if you are baking in the morning, pull out the night before.
  • Getting air in your sponge is key, 2 top tips sift flour not once but 3 times – we do this daily with our scones. Secondly, ensure everything is clean, any small particles and the mix will stick and not have an even rise
  • Preheated oven. I know this is obvious, but domestic ovens are unpredictable. Leave it on for a good bit before cooking. Also, don’t open and close to check- like in bake off, if you want to check just look in the door. Also when opening and closing be fast and gentle – we call it ‘ninja approach’ in The Castle!
  • Leftover curd: put in preserving jar and refrigerate. This would be great with Ice cream, in a choux pastry


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