Seedy almond cake on a white table and white plates

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Seedy Almond Cake Recipe

Home » Food » Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Seedy Almond Cake Recipe

14 November 2023

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This treat is low in sugar, packed with goodness and best of all, absolutely delicious!

To create this recipe, I started with a basic Victoria sponge and swapped out the white flour for a blend of wholemeal and ground almonds, reduced the sugar substantially and added extra nuts and seeds. To result is delicious – and you really don’t miss all that sugar. I love to eat the cake still just warm from the oven, but it keeps well too. It’s great with a cup of tea or, for a high-fibre probiotic pud, enjoy it with a spoonful of kefir or natural yoghurt, and a little heap of fresh berries or roasted fruit. The poppy seeds aren’t essential, but I love them for their look and their texture and, like any seed, they are rich in minerals.

Makes 8 slices


  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 70g soft light brown sugar or light muscovado
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange or lemon (optional)
  • 100g wholemeal cake flour/fine plain wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 25g sunflower seeds
  • 25g poppy seeds (optional)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk or water
  • About 20g flaked almonds or pumpkin seeds (or a mix)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 20cm round springform cake tin with baking paper.

2. Put the butter and sugar, and the orange or lemon zest if using, into a large bowl or a free-standing electric mixer. Use an electric hand whisk or the mixer to beat for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy.

3. In a second bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, sunflower seeds and poppy seeds, if using.

4. Add an egg and a spoonful of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar. Mix and beat until evenly blended. Repeat to incorporate the remaining eggs. Tip in the remaining dry ingredients and fold together gently but thoroughly, finishing by folding in the milk or water to loosen the batter a little.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread it gently and evenly. Scatter with the flaked almonds and/or pumpkin seeds. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool, at least a little, on a wire rack.

6. Remove the cake from the tin and cut into slices to serve. It will keep in an airtight tin for up to five days, but you’ll most likely finish it well before then.

Related article: Homemade Baked Beans

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