Easter Baking

Today I made my hot cross buns. To be eaten tomorrow and not before or after.
I'm very strict about hot cross buns.

The crosses are rustic. 

I used the recipe in Mary Berry's Baking Bible. The dough was very sticky and needed quite a lot of extra flour in order to knead it . Next time I will add the liquids more cautiously.

Scripture Cake
Yesterday I made a scripture cake, sometimes known as Bible cake. This isn't an Easter recipe as such, but I thought it was appropriate.
I've made one once before as a gift to my grandmother. This time I used the recipe in the British Book of Baking although I imperialized the quantities. It is a Victorian recipe and would originally have been in imperial measures. The recipe is a kind of puzzle. The British Book of Baking says it 'required a certain knowledge of the Bible'. Nonsense, one can make it perfectly well with no knowledge of the Bible, you do need a Bible handy though.


1 Bible
If you don't have a bible handy highlight the area after each ingredient to find out what it should be.

8oz Judges 5:25, last clause butter
8oz Jeremiah 6:20 sugar- light brown muscovado for preference
1 tablespoon 1 Samuel 14:25 honey
3 Jeremiah 17:11 eggs, beaten
8oz 1 Samuel 30:12 raisins
6oz Nahum 3:12 soft dried figs, chopped
3oz Numbers 17:8 blanched almond, flaked or chopped
12oz  1 Kings 4:22 plain flour
1 teaspoon 2 Chronicles 9:9 mixed spice
1 teaspoon Amos 4:5 baking powder
a pinch of Leviticus 2:13 salt
6 tablepoons Judges 4:19 milk

III enlisted the help of my elder son to look up the bible references, although there was no real need as they were printed at the bottom of the recipe. He enjoyed his little quest. If you know anything at all about cake making you will probably be able to guess a lot of the ingredients from the instructions.

1) In a large mixing bowl cream together the Judges 5:25 with the Jeremiah 6:20 and the 1 Samuel 14:25 until light and fluffy.

2) Add the Jeremiah 17:11 gradually beating well after each addition.

3) Stir in the 1 Samuel 30:12, the Nahum 3:12 and the Numbers 17:8

4) Mix the 1 Kings 4:22 with the 2 Chronicles 9:9, the Amos 4:5 and the Leviticus 2:13.
Fold it all into the mixture in the bowl with the  judges 4;19

Grease and base line an 8 inch deep cake tin.
Pour in the cake mixture and bake at 170°c/150°c fan oven/gas 3 for 1½-2 hours. 

I shall probably be around on Easter Day but if not, happy Easter to you all.


  1. Hey, Sue they look amazing!

    Rose Fern introduced me to your blog, she said I might find it interesting - she was right!

    Good work!

  2. Wow...
    sadly, no bible here.
    Have a wonderful Easter
    Take care

  3. I've made Bible Cake before its nice, might go and make another! Glad it isn't just me who is strict about Hot Cross Buns, they are only eat on Good Friday in our house too, I'm off to make another Simnel Cake just now, we had the other one on Mothering Sunday when it should be eaten!
    Julie xxxxxxx

  4. Happy Easter! Your hot cross buns look amazing, I've never baked any before but I bet it beats supermarket ones!

    I was soooo facinated by the bible cake too, what a fab idea! I can see why your son enjoyed it, like a puzzle game or something :-) x

  5. Jude, you don't need a Bible, read what I say in italics :o)

  6. Anonymous6:21 pm BST

    Your blog is a paradise for the non-native teacher of English, such as myself!
    You can't imagine how much searching I have done on the internet for English customs and recipes! You are amazing! You have all the recipes I want to teach my learnrs, so that I can give them an idea of the culture they're studying!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
    If only I had blogged 4 years ago, when I tried a Christmas pudding recipe (awful). I can't tell you how much the kids loved the whole process!
    Happy Easter!
    ps.I teach English in a Greek primary school

  7. Your hot cross buns look scrumptious. And very clever invisible writing!

    K x

  8. Both look absolutely delicious :)

  9. Holly in Texas6:34 pm BST

    I remember Scripture Cake from childhood!

    The recipe was in our little rural community Methodist Church cookbook. Somehow it made the leap from Victorian England to the wide wild western plains.

    I enjoy dropping by your blog for a dose of English style and civility. Lovely baked goods this week.

    Happy Easter!

  10. Oh dear, I feel quite naughty now for having eaten my hot cross buns already!

    What did you use to make the crosses? mine were made from just a flour and water mix but turned out really chewy.

    Have a lovely Easter, x

  11. Mine were flour and water too Helen. Maybe they'll be chewy too!

  12. I remember I made Hot Cross Buns at school once and no matter what I made and what state it was in, my Mother always made us eat it. I remember they weren't that successful!

  13. Yum Yum! Like the sound of the Bible Cake! Very intriguing! Have a great Easter! Cx

  14. Anonymous10:16 pm BST

    I'm strict about hot cross buns too - it makes them much more special.

  15. Anonymous11:14 pm BST

    I love your blog Sue - everything from your photos to your writing. I discovered it fairly recently through MSE and spent a happy few hours one night going back through your archives! They make wonderful reading and I was sad when I had caught up with it all! I have heard of the Bible Cake before and it's a lovely idea - perfect for this time of year.

    Have a super Easter!

  16. Everything you do is so beautiful, even your leftovers the other day had me inspired.

    Have a very happy Easter.

  17. what a lovely idea for a cake, looks delish too.
    Have a wonderful Easter and enjoy the sunshine
    j x

  18. Hi Sue,
    The hot cross buns look sooo yummy. I, too, made the Mary Berry BB recipe and also found the mixture very sticky!Do you think the liquid amounts were wrong? `cos i had to use alot of flour when kneading.Having said all that they were lovely.
    Happy Easter to you and your family.And thank you for a brilliant blog.
    Love from Carole from Rossendale xxxx

  19. Your bible cake reminds me of my matromonial cake recipe Sue - it's sub-titled "you have to take the rough with the smooth"!

    Pauline :-)

  20. LOVE the Bible cake - that's great! Your posts always make me smile. Happy Easter to you, too.
    Caz :)

  21. Stumbled across your blog and loving it!
    Yes, I have made Bible cake
    I recently read 'someone at a distance' and loved it
    Happy easter to you and yoursd
    blessings x

  22. Hi

    Your hot cross buns look lovely and I love your blog,
    Happy Easter

  23. Your buns look delicious and I'm jealous as I didn't make any this year. My hot cross buns recipe came from a lady called (I think) Ruth Mott - she did a 'Victorian Kitchen' BBC series quite a long time ago now. I don't always make them but when I do, I wonder why I don't as they are scrumptious! Bought buns are nothing like home-made ones. My Mum always made ours and was very strict about eating them too; so none until Good Friday - I am a little less so. Then they were so delicious that we ate 3 or four. We always warmed them in the oven - not toasted. This doesn't work for bought buns I've found. It's the sticky syrup on the top that makes them so moreish I think. Your cake looks great too. Will have to try that.

  24. What an absolutely wonderful idea!!! :) xxx

  25. How completely and utterly brilliant - I've never come across this before. I forward this item to my friend Rev. Spencer and see what he makes of it. What fun!

  26. Pati from London8:01 am BST

    Sue, that bible cake was a truly amusing idea, brilliant!! I love hot cross buns but didn't know you could only have them on Easter Friday... (upps!) They are such an English thing for me (maybe because I am a foreigner) that I love eating them quite often (but especially during Easter) for breakfast with lemon curd...yum, yum... Happy Easter for you too, x Pati

  27. So fun, I have never seen this recipe (or anything like it) before!


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