Guest chef

Debbie Major

Cook, writer and food stylist, Debbie's reputation for foolproof, delicious recipes is second to none. She is renowned for her dedication to seasonal home cooking and her love of all things rustic and authentic. Simplicity over cheffy is her motto!

Strawberry and redcurrant loaf cake

  • Serves 10
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Total time 1 hr 35 mins
3.7/5 rating (23 votes)
Strawberry and redcurrant loaf cake
Strawberry and redcurrant loaf cake

step by step

  • 1Put a shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm x 9cm (base measurements) loaf tin that's 8cm deep with baking paper.
  • 2Sift together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt; set aside. Using a hand-held electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl for about 5 minutes, until pale and slightly fluffy. Beat in the zest, then the eggs, one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour with the second egg. In stages, fold in the remaining sifted flour and the cream or milk until the mixture is smooth, then fold in the desiccated coconut or ground almonds.
  • 3Hull the strawberries and cut into small pieces. Spoon a third of the cake mixture into the tin and scatter over a third of the strawberries and redcurrants. Repeat twice more, ending with a layer of berries. Bake for 1¼ hours, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove, peel away the paper and leave to go cold on a wire rack.
  • 4Once cold, make the icing. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon boiling water; mix until smooth. Drizzle over the cake and leave for 1 hour. Arrange the strawberries and redcurrants over the top. Serve cut into thick slices.
  • Recipe photograph by Kris Kirkham.

Get ahead

Bake the cake up to a day ahead, cool and store in an airtight container. Ice at least 1 hour ahead; decorate with fruit just before serving.

You will need

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125g soft unsalted butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml single cream (or whole milk)
  • 25g desiccated coconut or ground almonds
  • 200g ripe-but-firm strawberries
  • 50g redcurrants (stripped from their stalks)

To decorate

  • 75g icing sugar
  • 1½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 75-100g strawberries, halved
  • 4-6 small sprigs of redcurrants

+ Nutritional Information