Jubilee Cake, or Jubilee Loaf as it's sometimes called, is a simple cake that's big on nostalgia (and sultanas).
It tastes like something your Nana would make on those long, carefree afternoons that only really exist in childhood.
This version is something my great Nana Ling used to make a lot judging by the few spills on the page of her notebook that contains this recipe.
What is Jubilee Cake?
A Jubilee is a special anniversary of an event, particularly one that celebrates a major milestone of a reign or activity.
Think the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, celebrated in 2002 to mark the 50th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.
And in 2022, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrating 70 years.
Organisation also often celebrate jubilees. I love this picture below showing people celebrating the Silver Jubilee (25 years) of the oldest Victorian branch of the CWA.
The Jubilee Cake – as the name suggests – was a celebratory cake traditionally baked to mark these special occasions.
Many cakes are elaborate, and there’s a history of royal Jubilee cakes on this food historian’s blog.
And while us commoners don’t get to enjoy these fancy cakes, we can still celebrate and bake up our own version of Jubilee Cake.
Nana Ling’s Jubilee Cake is a fairly simple cake – think CWA rather than royal standards – but it’s just lovely. Especially served at a special morning or afternoon tea.
And if you do want a Jubilee recipe that's fit for a Queen, check out the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Trifle.
Jubilee Cake: the ingredients
To make this cake, you’ll need:
- SR flour
- caster sugar
- peel or chopped glace cherries
- icing sugar
- shredded coconut
- sliced natural almonds.
Exact quantities can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Making Jubilee Cake
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced) and grease a loaf tin (24 x 14cm).
Rub chopped butter (straight from fridge) into flour.
Add the salt and sugar and stir to combine.
Combine the milk and well-beaten egg before adding to the dry ingredients.
Again, stir well to combine. Use a whisk if necessary to form a batter with a smooth consistency.
Add sultanas and peel/cherries and mix well.
Pour into tin and bake for half an hour.
Allow the cake to cool for 5 or 10 minutes before attempting to remove from the tin.
The fun part of this recipe is icing it.
This Jubilee Cake is iced while still hot from the oven, and then topped with coconut and almonds.
Combine hot milk and icing sugar to a smooth consistency. Pour over the cake as soon as you remove it from the tin. It will still be warm.
When icing, I place the cake on a cooling rack with a baking paper-lined tray underneath. That way, I can catch the icing that runs off and scoop it up with a spoon to cover the parts of the cake that miss out on icing the first time around – so the entire cake is coated in smooth, glossy icing.
Nana Ling’s Jubilee Cake recipe
I’ve included a picture of Nana Ling’s handwritten Jubilee Cake Recipe. However, please keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.
- loaf tin (24 x 14 cm approx)
- 20 grams butter
- 1 cup SR flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- ½ cup sultanas
- ¼ cup peel or chopped glace cherries
- 1 tablespoon hot milk
- 1 cup icing sugar
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup sliced natural almonds
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced).
- Grease and line a loaf tin (24 x 14cm)
- Rub chopped butter (straight from fridge) into flour.
- Add the salt and sugar and combine.
- Combine milk and well beaten egg before adding to the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine. Use a whisk if necessary to form a batter with a smooth consistency.
- Add sultanas and peel/cherries and mix well.
- Pour into loaf tine and bake for half an hour.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from tin.
Icing and Decorating
- Combine hot milk and icing sugar to a smooth consistency. Pour over the cake as soon as you remove it from the tin while it's still warm.
- Decorate with coconut and almonds.