I had planned, this weekend, to make a Christmas cake. They’re best made early, to mature. But, given the current Covid-situation, I’ve decided to work on the basis that we probably won’t go home for Christmas. It seems safest to plan for that since we’re in a Tier 2 area. That way Christmas plans won’t be disrupted. And if we can, huzzah!

What this means for us cake-wise, though, is it’d be for only two of us, and M doesn’t much like fruit cake, and while I’d give it a jolly good go, I’m not sure I could manage a whole Christmas cake by myself. I think I have done that in the past, though, and it lasted me well into the new year. But that year, I hadn’t also had a fortnight of shutting the world out and overeating, because what else is there to do?

Instead, I made raspberry cakes, to aid my thinking as I flicked through the M&S Christmas food catalogue. If we can’t visit family at Christmas, we’re definitely feeding our sorrows with deliciousness. And the M&S catalogue is full of delicious-sounding/looking things.

The good thing about this recipe is its flexibility.

Because it’s made with jam for flavour, it can be easily adapted to your tastes or the season. Or just what you have in the cupboard. And you don’t need eggs, so it’ll be good if there’s another shortage. I’ll probably make some plum cakes for Christmas, because I have a jar of homemade wild plum jam a friend gave me.

I even chucked in a handful or two of frozen raspberries, because I could.

You will need:

100g softened butter

100g self-raising flour

100g caster sugar

2 tbsps raspberry jam, maybe a bit extra, for good measure

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp milk

To make:

Preheat the oven to about 180C.

Cream together the butter and sugar, then stir in the raspberry jam. Fold in the flour and vanilla essence, then stir in the milk.

Spoon into cake cases and bake for about twenty minutes.

Allow to cool (if you can wait that long) and ice as desired. I used glace icing.