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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Eat Like Austen: Caraway Seed Cake | guest post from Beth

The first of today's posts comes from Beth, whom you can find blogging at Bethwyrm. You'll see Beth popping up a lot throughout this year's event, because when I put the call out for help putting together Austen in August in the middle of a huge workload and the additional workload that comes in the lead-up to launching a business, Beth came through. So except to see regular recipes, reviews, discussions and all manner of Austen-love from Beth in the coming weeks, kicking it all off with today's recipe for Caraway Seed Cake! 

Caraway seeds have a nutty, bittersweet sharpness with a hint of citrus, pepper, and anise. You probably know them as a key ingredient in rye bread.

Since the Middle Ages, they've been used as a digestive aid- making this seedcake an excellent accompaniment to afternoon tea (along with finger sandwiches, biscuits, and hot tea, of course), before your 5 o'clock promenade in Hyde Park. 

Typical of seedcakes of the era, it's not overly sweet, though the high fat content makes it a very moist, spongey quickbread. It pairs excellently with an astringent tea or dark roast coffee. If you want to sweeten it up more, I suggest adding dried currants along with the caraway seeds, or glazing it with a royal icing. 

The original recipe, from Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery:

The modern adaptation:


  • 8 oz. flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 oz. butter, softened
  • 6 oz. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp rosewater (optional)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tblsp milk (I used oat milk)
  • 38g caraway seeds

Preheat oven to 325°F.

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.

3. Add the rosewater, flour mixture, eggs, and milk to creamed butter, then stir in the caraway seeds.

4. Transfer mixture to a buttered loaf pan.

5. Bake loaf pan for 45 min on the center rack, then let cool for 10 min.

7. Remove from tin and let it finish cooling on the wire rack.

About the author of this post: I'm Beth: a bookwyrm, history geek, hobby baker, Austen fan, and collector of pastimes. Henry Tilney and Elizabeth Bennet are my Austen fictional crushes, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about me. I can be found blogging at https://bethwyrm.blogspot.com/ and creating general nonsense at: https://www.instagram.com/goddessbeth/, https://www.tiktok.com/@artemishi, and https://twitter.com/ArtemisHi.
Find more posts from Beth here
Jane Austen, Austen in August, blog event, Jane Austen fan fiction, JAFF, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty
Click here to return to the master list of Austen in August posts!


  1. Mmm, sounds delicious. I’ll try this! Wish me luck.

    1. You got this! It's easier than it looks. ;)

  2. I've always wondered what this tasted like when I've come across it. Thanks for making up a simple recipe for it, Beth!

    1. Happy to do so! It's very strongly caraway flavored, but not too licoricey (if that's even a word). I hope you try it sometime!

  3. I love caraway seeds, and this recipe looks wonderful!
    Thanks, Beth :).

    1. I hope you try making it- I bet you'll enjoy having a slice with tea while writing! :)

  4. I don't know what caraway seeds. this is interesting... I will have to look for this seed and try this

    1. Mmm, I love Caraway! If you can find it, definitely give it a try.

  5. Love finding new recipes especially for things I've never tried before. Although I have never had Caraway Seed Cake before, it sound delicious and one I have to try.

  6. I don't know about the caraway seeds. Did you like it?


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