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Black Bun, Scotland's New Year Cake

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time4 hrs
Course: baking
Author: Karon


  • 350 g/12oz plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 25 g/1oz caster sugar
  • 175 g/6oz butter
  • 6 tablespoons iced water
  • 450 g/1lb currants
  • 450 g/1lb raisins
  • 175 g/6oz candied mixed peel
  • 225 g/8oz chopped almonds
  • 225 g/8oz plain flour
  • 225 g/8oz soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground ginger allspice powder, grated nutmeg and cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons whisky or brandy
  • Milk to bind it together
  • Egg yolk for glaze


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease and line a 2lb (1kg) loaf tin.
  • This is a two part process so make the pastry first by sifting the dry ingredients into a large bowl and rubbing in the butter. It is best to chop the butter into tiny pieces and rub in with just the finger tips. Add iced water to form a stiff dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes. Flour your work surface and roll the pastry thinly. Press this into the tin ensuring it is evenly distributed, make sure that you have enough left over to make the lid for the top!
  • Now on to stage 2, the easy bit; To make the cake filling simply put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly, stir in the eggs and whisky and add enough milk to bind it all together.
  • Pack it into the pastry case and level off the top. Cover with the remaining pastry to form a lid and seal all edges firmly together. Prick all over with a fork and brush with the egg yolk to glaze.
  • Bake for 2 hours at the full heat and then reduce the oven temperature to 140C/275F/Gas 1 and bake for a further 1 hour until the top is golden.
  • Let it cool before turning out of the tin.