The Ballet Cook Book: Sir Frederick Ashton's Recipes

In The Ballet Cook Book, Sir Frederick Ashton is quoted saying, "A good ballet is only a good ballet when all the ingredients are right and, like a cake, unless there is enough baking powder it doesn't rise." 

This Housekeeper's Cake recipe is actually the version that Sir Fred's own housekeeper would make and was a cake that he always asked her to make.

Sir Frederick Ashton's Housekeeper's Cake Recipe

1 3/4 C sifted cake flour
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 C butter
1/2 C plus 1 T sugar
1 egg
1/2 C milk
3/4 C raisins
3/4 C white raisins
2 T mixed candied fruit

Sift cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt onto a piece of waxed paper; set aside. Cream butter well in a medium bowl; gradually add the sugar, beating well after each addition. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk, blending well after each addition. Dredge fruits in flour and fold into batter. Pour batter into a well greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Bake at 325* F. for 75-90 minutes or until dry when tested with a cake tester.


Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for a new chapter every Friday.


Le Clercq, Tanaquil. "Sir Frederick Ashton.” The Ballet Cook Book,

Stein and Day, 1966

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