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Although it’s soda bread with fruit in, it can’t be called soda bread because

When I got in from walking the dog yesterday afternoon I put the kettle on and had a rummage about for something nice to go with a cuppa, apart from some rich tea biscuits, we didn’t have anything at all, so I had a brilliant idea..

This, it turns out is called railway cake or spotted dog.
I have no idea why it would be called railway cake, perhaps they ate it on long railway journeys back in the day, anyway, regardless of what it’s called, it’s really quick to make…

Although it’s soda bread with fruit in, it can’t be called soda bread because of the fruit, and the egg, oh, and the sugar, so it must be a cake and  this person seems quite adamant about it.

It doesn’t last very long, so eat it on the day it’s made, or toast it for breakfast.

So this is:

Railway cake:

cake prep

I mixed 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda into 150g white bread flour (that’s all I had left) and topped it up with 50g of S.R flour,  then added some dried cranberries, apricots, raisin and a few pumpkin and sunflower hearts, along with a tbsp of demerara sugar, and brought it together to form a dough with an egg yolk I had in the fridge and enough soured soya milk as it needed.
Don’t knead it or overwork it, put it in the oven as soon as, because the soda starts working immediately.

Had I had yogurt, cream or buttermilk I’d have used that, but I only had skimmed milk and soya milk, and as the soya milker was thicker I opted for that and added a  good squirt of lemon and left it to turn while I prepped everything else.

I formed the dough into a rough round, sprinkled it with demerara sugar, few seeds and some mixed spice.

mixed spice

Put it in the oven on 200° for um.. 20 minutes, half an hour, well til it was done really.

out of oven

It was lovely, sort of bready and cakey at the same time, the little bit of mixed spice on the crust just finished it off nicely.


I put butter on it.

with butter

and what we didn’t eat, we had toasted for breakfast.