Love Cake
  • Serves icon Serves 12
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, oven-time 40 min, plus cooling

This cake is by Paul Allam and David McGuinness, authors of the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook. In their words: ”it is the nutty, slightly burnt caramel flavour and moist consistency, combined with a crumbly, biscuity base, that make it all so delicious”.


  • 265g self-raising flour
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 320g soft brown sugar
  • 100g golden syrup or treacle
  • 125ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 80g walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease a 23 cm (9 inch) square cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper, allowing it to protrude about 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the tin.
  2. Put the flour, butter, sugar and golden syrup into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix to combine, then remove 400 g (14 oz) of the mixture and press it into the base of the prepared cake tin.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, egg and bicarbonate of soda. With the motor running, slowly add it to the rest of the mixture, scraping down the side of the bowl as you go. Add the nuts, cinnamon, pepper, cloves — and heaps and heaps of love, even more than usual. Pour the batter into the cake tin, then dust with the nutmeg.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for another 35 minutes, or until dark golden on top and just set.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out.

delicious. tips

  1. Your love cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week; bring back to room temperature for serving.


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