Irish Porter Cake with California Prunes

Makes: 10Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes


  • 175g butter or margarine
  • 300g mixed dried fruit
  • 150g California Prunes, roughly chopped
  • 250ml Guinness
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 orange - juice & zest only
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300g plain flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Place the butter, half the sugar, the dried fruit, the California Prunes and beer in a large pan on a medium heat.
  3. Add the mixed spice, orange zest and juice, I also add the orange halves in while the mixture is cooking to give it a bit more flavour, but remove them before you add the bicarbonate of soda.
  4. Meanwhile use an electric whisk to mix the eggs and remaining sugar until the mixture has doubled in size and has become really light and fluffy.
  5. When the pan ingredients have come to the boil, add the bicarbonate of soda and watch it fizz.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat: as the mixture cools it will catch all the air the bicarb has created. From this point onwards you need to work quickly to get the cake into the oven.
  7. Pour in the egg mixture and sift in the plain flour. Mix it all together with a spoon and put into a 20 x 20cm (8 x 8in) cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until firm to the touch and it springs back.


Peter Sidwell

Peter Sidwell

California Prune Board Ambassador Peter Sidwell, is a chef, baker, TV presenter, author, and innovator of all things food related. Peter has been a chef all his working life and over the years has developed a simple, fresh and innovative way of cooking which focuses on the importance of fine ingredients and technical know-how to ensure the best results. Peter has travelled the world cooking, talking and demonstrating his approach and explaining how and why it works so well for all manner of food offerings. Peter works both with chefs, consumers, food producers and retailers to innovate, create process or refine procurement. Working from his new innovation centre in England's beautiful Lake District, Peter and his team create exciting, attractive and mouth-watering new recipes with digital content, showcasing the delicious flavour and versatility of California Prunes.