Golden Wattle Tea Cake

It’s particularly grim weather in London today. One mustn’t complain too much as we’ve had a few days of sunshine and most importantly this morning has been born a NewHuman to our very good friends. I shall dedicate this post to her, RJBF, as she’s barely 8 hours old at the time of writing and already causing dramas. Takes after her mother, which is wonderful.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving, dedicating a post to a newborn child. I can regale her with stories of visitor stats and comments. Such a treat in store for her.

It’s a terrible thing, parenthood. It comes with it so many societal norms and assumed values, and is supported by an industry that seems to me to run on the power of guilt. I’ve managed to avoid a lot of it through dint of being an ornery old cow but even I, heart made of steel, have fallen foul of the Parenting Guilt Trap more times than it’s cool to admit. I DO NOT APPROVE.  I’m basing this on almost 6 months of experience. I feel well qualified to comment. Basically if your kid is alive, loved, sometimes clean and mostly warm, then you’re onto a winner.  I am going to write a parenting book, I think, and title it ‘It’s Probably Fine, Stop Worrying and Go Have a Drink’.

Anyway, moving on, this tea cake is from a legendary cookbook of my youth, The Golden Wattle. Our copy at home was held together with the concrete remains of various flours, some not-very-sticky sellotape and carefully placed batter drops from this very cake.  The photos for this post date back to the day before my NewHuman was born. I made this before falling headfirst (and morphine-assisted, oh yeah) into parenting and I think there’s still some left in the freezer.  Cake, that is.

We ate a lot of this growing up. It is a Plain Cake but one, slathered in cold butter per slice, which is very satisfying. Much better than those bloody annoying Weekender Biscuits, as previously posted.


Preheat your oven to 180C.


1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
vanilla extract – the good stuff
1 and 1/2 cups Self Raising flour
1/2 -3/4 cup of milk.

Grease and line a loaf tin.  Actually, don’t line it. It’s a faff and you don’t need to bother with this cake.

20131120-094722.jpg Cream butter and sugar together quite well, then add the egg and beat it.  Beat it well. Beat it like the showy mothers who homecook all their weaning child’s food, freezing pureed blocks of organically grown carrots in their specially purchased freezers, and then blog about it.

Stir through the vanilla.

Sift in half the flour then add half the milk, stir through, and repeat until all flour & milk has gone.

Complex, eh?

Pour the batter into your greased loaf tin.  Now the original recipe I think says to bake 15-20 minutes in moderate oven but that’s batshit crazy.  I can’t remember now seeing as it’s six months ago but I’m fairly confident I baked mine for closer to 40 mins or so. Basically you want a clean skewer type situation, so see how you get on.


The dog had two consecutive vet visits last week – an unexplained skin infection (yuk, gross, expensive and ugly) and then the very next morning she managed to magically tear her front leg open on an invisible stick. Staples ahoy (yuk, ow, ugly and urgh). Also expensive. Anyway NewHuman has been keen to investigate, as demonstrated above. Dog is rightly unsure about his fine motor skills.


Right – cake out of the oven when clean skewer has been achieved.

Grab a block of butter from somewhere – if you’re like me you have about a hundred butter-ends from all those recipes who call for slightly less than 250g. Anyway, one of them. Rub it along the cake whilst cake is still hot. Melty melty goodness. Rub a lot of it in.


Sprinkle  caster sugar and cinnamon on top. I actually think the original recipe says do this, and then when cake cooled to cut the cake in half and spread it with butter, then rejoin. We don’t bother that that in my family. We just butter the top, and then layer butter on a slice, like bricklayer’s cement.

Eat, enjoy.  Some kind of hot beverage is good with this.  It’s called tea cake, innit.


3 thoughts on “Golden Wattle Tea Cake

  1. narf77 says:

    Any way to fandangle your hard earned readies out of you and there will be an entrepreneur waiting at the till with their hand held out. The diet industry, pets and babies are particularly useful examples where money furtively flies out of your wallet in order to abrogate a HUGE amount of implied guilt.

    Mum didn’t own the Golden Wattle cookbook. She had a battered and worn copy of the CWA cookbook held together by chocolate cake, Christmas cake glue and a good percentage of the same Sellotape that your mother probably used. Must have been exclusively available in W.A. methinks. I think that the two books were mutually exclusive to be honest. Having the both of them would have been like being Jewish and celebrating Christmas with bacon butties…Those red lipsticked nana’s at the CWA would have pursed their lips in severe disapproval should any one of their members have stooped so low as to lay in the gutter with the Golden Wattle squad (“wrong side of the tracks dear!”) so I am going to have to live vicariously through your recipe…I feel so NAUGHTY! (Might have to go and buy something for the dog…)

    I must say…the CWA cookbook did do a sterling teacake of their own…just sayin’ (lucky I don’t have a new human of my own…I think I would have just had to go out and spend recklessly for that sin!)…teacake…butter…large mug of hot beverage…DROOL!

    • b-kom says:

      Ah I have to admit….we had both the CWA and Golden Wattle. Probably illegal….

      • narf77 says:

        Its lucky you live in old Blighty now…the C.W.A. aren’t the bunch of old nana’s that they used to be since the hipsters took over the “studio”…you probably have a hit out on you as I type this! 😉

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