Thursday, 20 June 2013

Recipe: Tansy Cake

This is a recipe I want to preserve and secretly I hope one day my kids will ring me and say 'mum you know that Tansy cake you used to make ... can I have the recipe please'.  Weather they do or not it is something that stands out like a beacon from my own childhood.  Not that I actually ate a Tansy cake very often as a child, once or twice a year maybe, but when I did that unique aroma carved a deep nook for itself in my sensory memory.  My Mama's friend Louise would make it in the summer for picnics and special gatherings so it has a mythical legend status in my minds eye.  

I grow Tansy in my garden and I am glad I dried heaps of flowers last year because this year everything is late flowering.  It is something I like to make for Summer Solstice and so that is what I am doing right now.

Tansy is a very traditional ye olde English herb grown abundantly in medieval times and is easy to recognise by it's yellow button like flowers as well as its unique aroma. 


1 tablespoon tansy flowers

2 tablespoons water

4oz butter

4 1/2 oz sugar
2 eggs
3  oz plain flour
3 oz  SR flour

3 fl oz milk

Boil 2 tbsp water, pour over flowers and soak for 5 minutes

Cream the butter and sugar then strain and add the flower infusion to the butter and sugar mixture

Add the eggs one at a time, then the flour, then the milk bit by bit.
Spoon the mixture into a tin and bake at gas mark 3 for an hour or until a knife comes out clean.

The lemon juice is my own addition - just a little adds a certain freshness to the aromatic taste of the flowers.

Summer love & light



  1. yum yum!! i have some tansy in the garden - will be trying this out!

    1. Oh my! this particular cake I made today was absolutely just how I remembered Louise making them ... the texture is perfect, never got it right like this before, accompanied by a glass of mead I am in heaven! ... make some make some make some! :) X