10 Apr 15

Grandma’s Rice Cake recipe

It’s been a while since I did some baking last and even longer since I made a cake like this one. It’s full of things I don’t normally use to make cakes; butter, eggs and white sugar.

I’ve always loved rice cake though, its a really simple cake and it’s a bit basic. You don’t often find it in cookbooks anymore I guess it’s fallen out of favour, modern cakes would probably use ground almonds or other types of nut. If you’ve never had rice cake in the ground rice gives a really dense texture and due to the amount of butter it’s got a really creamy buttery flavour.

While I was making this it reminds me of a time when eating cake was more of a dietary necessity, when hard physical work meant that keeping body weight was more difficult. My Gran and I often baked cakes together, her generation really were expected to stay home and take on domestic chores like baking and childminding while the men worked. It’s a shame that home cooking is always looked down upon because it’s such an important skill for everyone to master.

The directions in this recipe are rather sparse but then it’s written by hand, by a person from a generation of women who all cooked and knew how to bake and what these instructions meant. I’ve reproduced the recipe below exactly as it was written.

6 oz Self Raising Flour
2 oz Ground Rice
5 oz Margarine
5 oz Sugar
Pinch Salt
2 Large eggs lightly beaten
4 Tablespoons milk


1. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees and line a loaf tin or round tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

3. Beat in the eggs a little at a time. Fold in the flour and ground rice.

4. Add the milk and stir to a soft dropping consistency.

5. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.


  1. Chris Smith says:

    very pleasant! I have an aga whose ovens are at 200 and 100 degrees, so I put the mix in an 8″ round cake tin so it made quite a flat cake, and only baked it for 45 minutes in the hot oven, to compensate – and it came out just fine – so quite a versatile recipe. I might experiment with 4oz sugar next time.

  2. Bettina Ortiz says:

    This looks like a wonderful recipe & I can’t wait to try it! I especially love recipes passed down by Grans, because I AM one (also am a great-grandma!) I live in the U.S. In North- East Ohio. Because I live in the States I have some questions. Our ovens range from 100 to 500 degrees. 150 would be considered exceptionally low, in fact this is the first recipe I have using 150. Is this temp commonly used in the U.K.? The other question I have is about the margarine. I use salted butter in all my recipes. Is butter an acceptable substitute and if so, should it be salted or unsalted ( lots of recipes here use unsalted butter if salt is being added in the recipe. Thanking you in advance for your assistance! I can’t wait to make this cake and I will let you know how it turns out!!

    • Margaret says:

      Bettina, I think the oven temps are shown in Celsius so 150 C would be 302 Fahrenheit. It seems a bit cool. I would heat the oven to 325 or 350 and keep an eye on it!
      Also I think using unsalted butter is the way to go, with a large pinch of salt.

  3. Shirley Wardle says:

    I’m going through the recipes in my mother’s hand-written cookbook (she’s 91), and it’s just how you’ve described. All recipes assume lots of baking knowledge so just give quantities and key steps. Looking forward to trying your recipe.

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