Food in Cocaine Blues - Tea Cake

During their first encounter in the Block Arcade Phryne and Dot share tea cake and a pot of tea. This recipe is the one from A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury.

2 tbsp butter
½ cup caster sugar
1 egg
1½ cups self-raising flour
4 tbsp milk
A pinch of salt

2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp caster sugar

Cream the butter and sugar. Gradually add the egg to the creamed mixture, then add the flour and
milk alternately, half at a time, and beat well. Place mixture in a greased sandwich tin and bake for
20–25 minutes.
Turn cake out onto a cake cooler while warm and brush with topping

Here is my effort unfortunately it didst come out very well. I can see why Phryne would leave the baking to her Mrs Butler:
The recipe does not give a baking temperature and time so a little guess work is involved. I found that the recipe does not make a lot of cake batter and the batter it made was very thick but this may be due to the fact that I was using bakers flour which is a stronger flour. If you have the same problem I would recommend adding a drop more milk. It might also be worth doubling the recipe for a decent sized cake. 

I also found that the topping was incredibly cinnamony so you may like to readjust it to suit your taste.


  1. Can I just say I LOVE your photo. I am of the firm believe that the ONLY photos of food worth looking at are ones that haven't worked out, preferably followed by the tag line of "Totally Nailed it" (That never ceases to crack me up.)
    I do feel like tea cake now...mmmmmm!

    1. Well this picture can definitely be tagged with a 'Totally Nailed it"

  2. Lol! Its so funny when we do that just hasn't worked out! Even when following the recipe and its actually the something wrong with the flour!
    Can't wait to see more posts on this blog! I love Phyrne Fisher.

    1. Thanks Judy. I definitely used the wrong flour as bread flour is much too strong but I showed the recipe to my hubby who is a baker and he said that the ratios of liquid to flour is way off!

  3. I know the recipie doesn't sayu to, but I'd brush on the melted butter and then sprinkle or roll to get the sugar and cinnamon on.

    1. Thanks for the tip Miss Vicki! I should have worked that out for myself looking at the original picture! I will probably give this recipe a retry at some point soon and post the results x

  4. You don't mention adding baking power and salt to the recipe to make up for not having self-rising flour. What did you use as a leavening agent in this quick bread?