Gur Cake | DonalSkehan.com, If you like fruit cake, this retro treat is one to try!
  • desserts-baking

Gur Cake

August 05

This cake was eaten by the poor of Dublin in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, for it was very cheap because it was made by bakers from their stale cake or bread stocks. This can be made with stale cake rather than bread if preferred, in which case omit the dried fruit. Recipe from The Pleasures of the Table: Rediscovering Theodora Fitzgibbon.

  • serves Serves 12
  • time 60 mins + soaking time


  1. 1. Soak the bread in a little water for an hour, then squeeze the moisture out and tear into small pieces. Combine the bread with the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, sugar, butter, fruit, beaten egg and milk. Mix well.
  2. 2. Line the bottom of a 22 cm (9 in) square tin with half of the pastry and spread the mixture over, then cover with the remaining pastry. Make a few diagonal gashes across the top and bake at 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5 for about an hour.
  3. 3. Sprinkle the top with sugar and allow to cool in the tin, then cut into 24 small squares. (A square of this size used to be sold for a halfpenny.)


Makes 24 small squares

8 slices stale bread, crusts cut off

3 tbsp flour

1⁄2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp mixed spice

100g brown sugar

2 tbsp butter

175g currants or mixed dried fruit

1 large egg, beaten

4 tbsp milk

350g shortcrust pastry

sugar for sprinkling


You'll Need

22 cm (9 in) square tin

Mixing bowl