Food Memories: Irish Porter Cake at the Dingle Food Festival


Food writer, broadcaster and author Caroline Hennessy has been focused on food and writing since editing Ireland’s first food website for RTÉ in 2000. Chair of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild, she established the award-winning Bibliocook: All About Food in 2005, is the author of two books about beer and food and has a column in the Irish Examiner in which she writes about small food producers and the ways in which they develop and maintain a sustainable local food system.

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12 Responses

  1. carolann says:

    what is the quantity of flour? it is missing from the list 🙂

    • Caroline says:

      You’re totally right, Carolann! Thanks for letting me know. It’s 575g of plain flour – now updated in the ingredients list.

  2. Margaret Barlow says:

    You dont mention when to add the eggs, I beat them and added them to the last half of the cooled fruit and mixed well. Its in the oven now and smells divine!

    • Caroline says:

      Duly noted and edited! Thanks for letting me know, Margaret. Hope you enjoyed the porter cake as much as we always have. For years it was even used as our Christmas cake!

  3. Margaret Barlow says:

    That porter cake was eaten before it had time to cool! Since then I have cooked three more basically from your recipe with a few ‘tweaks’ (just to be different)! I added extra fruit and pecan nuts in the last one yum! I like the idea of heating the fruit with the porter, really plumps up the fruit. Have one in the oven now (same recipe) but a kilo of mixed fruit inc mixed peel. I thought I would make it Xmas eve but no time, so I threw some brandy to plump up the mixed fruit, last night I put in 1/2 pt porter and this evening the fruit had absorbed all the porter so I put in another 1/2 pint! It is now out of the oven and cooling down, will let you know later how it turned out!

  4. Caroline says:

    That sounds gorgeous, Margaret! I’m a big fan of tweaking recipes about, as you may have noticed, and love the idea of adding the pecan nuts. I think one of the reasons that I like this cake so much is because of the plump, juicy fruit – makes it keep really well as a result. Although I’m not sure if you’re having any success at keeping it for any length of time!

  5. Lorraine says:

    Does anyone know how I good get my hands on a mcdonnells good food cook book? It’s fir my grandmother who lost hers and misses it terribly.

    • Caroline says:

      Charity shops are the only places that I’ve found copies, Lorraine. As far as I know, the books haven’t been in print for decades. Are there any particular recipes that your grandmother is looking for that I could send on to you?

  1. November 27, 2018

    […] me, it’s the porter cake that I can never resist and that’s what I cooked when Blasta presenter and DIT Food […]

  2. April 24, 2020

    […] came home and did some morale-boosting baking: cupcakes for the girls, huge great slabs of porter cake, made with prunes and studded with brazil nuts (clear out the pantry stuff!) for the rest of us. […]

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