Aunty Meg’s grotty cake


My Great Aunty Meg was some character. I remember her teaching my older brother and I to knit but he was far better at it than me. I also remember her making the most delicious of soups in her tiny wee kitchen. But the one thing that clearly sticks in my mind was her grotty cake – I suspect it came from the back of a cereal packet or from her beloved Sunday Post (Scotland’s very popular Sunday paper). I’ve not made it for a while but my Mum asked me for the recipe the other day and well I’ve not been able to think of anything else since!

The original recipe was a cup of All Bran, a cup of milk, a cup of sugar and a cup of sultanas. It was all mixed into a bowl and left over night at room temperature to soak. In the morning you’d add a cup of flour and then bake it until the needle comes out clean.

It was a sticky and very sweet tea loaf, which we would spread with butter and jam and have with a cup of tea for breakfast. Aunty would always tell me stories of her childhood when she was making food so the cake always conjures up lots of memories for me when making it.

Of course, times change and my diet has certainly changed so I’ve obviously adapted the recipe to suit. My latest change was made this morning – I’ve got a day off work, a long weekend so I was in the baking mood. I think Aunty would approve of my changes – it’s still sticky and sweet, but the sweetness comes from the fruit rather than the sugar.

Also cups back then were mugs – so I’ve used regular baking cups in my measurements below:

  • 1 and a half cups of a vegan friendly wheat cereal (bran flakes, all bran for example)
  • 1/2 a cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 and a half cups of chopped fresh apple and dried figs
  • 1 and a half cups of hot fruit tea (I used Blood Orange)
  • 1 and a half cups of self-raising flour


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade
  2. Put all the ingredients, except the flour, into a bowl and mix until the cereal is soft and the sugar has dissolved
  3. Once the mixture has absorbed the liquid, mix in the flour, a little at a time and mix thoroughly
  4. Grease a 2lb loaf tin, and put the mixture in, levelling off
  5. Put in the oven and bake until your needle comes out clean (I baked mine for about 40 minutes
  6. Turn out onto a cooling wire and try to resist cutting it until it has cooled a little
  7. Spread with your favourite non-dairy spread and jam and don’t forget the cup of tea.




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