I made this cake recently for a project my partner David Wright and I were working on with the theatre company Gideon Reeling. It’s called Salon du Thé and we recreated an Edwardian high tea ceremony from the food and tea on the menu, to the dress code and interactive performances, all with great attention to detail. This Seed and Cherry Madeira cake was the centrepiece on a menu that included hand-painted chocolate and pistachio eclairs with French chantilly cream and fresh fruit tarts with passionfruit and mint. The Salon will tour this summer around stately homes and festivals.


Butter, room temp180g

Caster sugar180g

Free-range eggs3

Marriages or other quality self-raising flour250g

Milk3 tbsp

Small handful of pitted cherries sliced into 3 pieces

Mixed seeds pumpkin, sesame, poppy75g

Granulated sugar infused with Lapsang-Souchong tea (optional)

Small handful flaked almonds toasted

Icing sugar + lemon juice150g

Double cream150g

Raspberry jam or coulis


1. Cream the butter and sugar together for 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat until just incorporated.

2. Fold in the sifted flour, and add the milk slowly you need just enough to ensure the mixture falls slowly from the spoon. Fold in the seeds and cherries.

3. Spoon evenly into a greased and lined 7-inch round cake tin and sprinkle the top with some of the LS-infused sugar. Bake 30-40 minutes in a 180C oven until done.

4. Remove and cool in the tin for 8 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

5. Slice the cake carefully through the middle, spread the base layer with the coulis. Whip the cream and pipe over the top, then sandwich the two halves together.

6. Mix the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make it of pouring consistency and pour over the top of the cake. Dust with toasted almonds and garnish with fresh flowers if desired.