Welsh Recipes Logo

Boiled Cake (Teisen Ferw)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

Sometimes you shouldn’t judge a cake by its name. I was expecting some horrible puddingy mess of a mix wrapped in muslin and sat bubbling on the hob for hours like an evil witch’s potion. Instead what came out of the oven was a lovely fruit cake. Simply put the first five ingredients on the hob and heat gently for a while, I’d suggest at least ten minutes, whilst you prepare the rest of the recipe. Then turn the heat off and wait for it to cool. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and cook it.

This recipe originates from the Swansea area, and like Teisen lap, it was often taken with workers to eat at lunch.

12 ozs | 350g mixed dried fruit
8 ozs | 225g butter/margarine
|100g light brown muscovado brown sugar
125g soft brown sugar
10 fluid ozs | ½ pint | 285ml milk
1lb | 450g plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice (allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
2 eggs

Preheat the oven (350°F, Gas 4, 180°C)
Boil the fruit, sugar, butter and milk for 10 minutes (or 2 hours – the result will be a darker, richer cake)
Leave to cool then add the dry ingredients and eggs
Pour into a greased and lined 8 inch cake tin and bake for 1 to 1½ hours.


Boiled Cake (Teisen Ferw), 4.2 out of 5 based on 11 ratings

18 comments to Boiled Cake (Teisen Ferw)

  • linda


    This is the first time I have used this recipe, there are no instructions when to add the milk so i thought it must go in with the eggs but having added about 2 fl oz the mixture is very sloppy so I have added no more and put it in the oven and keeping my fingers crossed.

    Should it have 10fl ozs of milk?

    Kind Regards

  • Tim

    I added the milk as the beginning, boiling the fruit, sugar and butter with it. The dry ingredients then mixed very well. Will let you know how it turns out when I eat it tomorrow!

  • Tim

    It works putting the milk in at the beginning with the sugar, butter and fruit. It also works if you ‘feed’ the cake with Penderyn Welsh malt whiskey!

  • Gwydion - RfW

    Oh dear, we seem to have ever so slightly failed with the ingredients and the instructions. It should be updated now. Let me know how you get on!

  • Lorraine Bishop

    This is a basic recipe given to me 33 years ago by a Welsh friend who lived in Caerphilly. The exception is I just use a mug to measure i.e., 2 mugs flour to one of fruit/sugar, but I use less sugar and more fruit. Also you can add a wee dram of whisky or rum to the cooking of the fruit to give a ‘for special occasion’ taste. I also add cherries and nuts sometimes. If you feel the mixture is too sloppy, test it with the “count of 3 test” i.e., pick up half a tablespoon and count .. 1 and 2 and 3 slowly. If he mixture drops off the spoon to the count, its ok, if before add more flour, if it still sticks add more milk.

  • Georgie

    I was wondering does this actually taste nice???????

  • Johannes Verkruissen

    (Teisen Ferw) In the translation (Dutch) ye’r talking about 350ºC and after that the words gas (stove) 4 180ºC.
    I suppose you mean 350ºF and that is the same as 180ºC.

    With regards

  • maria

    To get the very best “foolproof” recipe check the internet for Australian Boiled Cake – taken there by our ancesters. It is delicious and can be used for very special occasions, i.e. wedding cake etc.

  • I found this recipe in Annette Yates Welsh Heritage Food and Cooking. She uses self raising flour instead of plain and no salt. My mixture came out really sloppy and I thought it was going to be an absolute disaster, but I put it in the cake tin and the oven. When I took it out and cut into it when it had cooled, it crumbled to pieces. But I left the cake until next day and it had firmed up beautifully. Will be making it again but will definitely leave many hours before cutting into it.

  • Just want to say it’s an absolutely gorgeous recipe and tastes beautiful. In her book, the milk goes in at the beginning with the fruit, sugar and butter. Once the butter and sugar has dissolved, you then boil it for two minutes (would not like to boil it for two hours). Remove from heat and cool slightly. You then add the sifted flour with bicarbonate soda and the two beaten eggs and bake for appox. 1 1/2 hours.

  • Julie Freeman

    What size tin should I use with this recipe ?

  • sue

    I would use a standard round 7 or 8 inch round tin

  • Elaine

    Does anyone actually read the method for this recipe, it does state: Boil the fruit, sugar, butter and milk for 10 minutes. I made this cake with my grandmother many years ago, she brought the recipe from Merthyr, but I lost my copy of it….it was really lovely, I think we used water instead of milk….but I’m off to make it now…and looking forward to having a slice mid-week when we have our Red Nose Day Bake In Cake Sale in work.

  • Richard - RfW

    I hope it was nice! I made it yesterday following the recipe, my cake cooked in just over 65 minutes and was lovely!

  • Janine ( mum to Syd )

    My daughter is doing a family heritage project for school and we combed the internet for traditional Welsh foods and this one caught her eye . We will be putting together and baking up enough for her class mates and school.* crosses fingers * have read its best after let to stand before cutting , any est on min times for that ?
    Janine & Sydney .. BC Canada ..aka ” the Leeks vs Daffidils house ” lol

  • Gwydion - RfW

    I prefer to let it cool thoroughly before eating. I’ve found it to crumble very easily if I don’t. Time? Enough time to forget about it, then remember there’s a lovely cake waiting. I’m not being helpful, am I?

  • Rowena

    I’ve made this today for the first time and it’s lovely! Really soft and moist fruit cake due to the boiling of the sugar and butter together like you would for a genoese cake. This is also great as you can mix everything into the saucepan. Minimal washing up makes me happy! Would recommend this to anyone who likes fruitcake. Also, due to the brown sugar and the butter melting together, you get this nice kind of hint of caramel/fudge going on in the cake. Delicious!

  • Janine – I would leave it at least an hour to cool down before cutting it. If you have longer then leave it for longer. Usually best to cool the cake in the tin for at least 20 mins, then removing from the tin and cooling on a cake cooling rack until ready to eat.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>