Recipe: Torta Galesa

It rained all last weekend. Stuck indoors, this was the perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe. Naturally Dani wanted to help.

An old recipe…

In fact it is a very old recipe. While sorting out some things in storage last week I came across an old cake tin. It was from a trip to Argentina over 14 years ago. It was a fruit cake bought in Patagonia called Torta Galesa (Welsh cake) in Argentina. A basic fruit cake recipe much like a typical wedding cake. This recipe was taken over to Argentina by Welsh immigrants in the 1800’s. There are several well known brands over there. This particular one was Tia Beryl (auntie Beryl’s).



The cake that came in the tin was eaten long ago but the tin had been kept and forgotten about until last week. Inside the tin was a sheet of paper with the recipe for Torta negra Galesa (black Welsh cake).

There was a slight problem. The recipe measures are for a 550g cake – to fit the tin – while we only had a much larger cake tin. The answer was simple: Increase the ingredients by 50% and fill the large cake tin. The worst that could happen was that we would have a lot more cake right?

The cake turned out to be just right. Rich, moist and very tasty. And so easy to make. There are several variations and you can choose which type of alcohol (if any) you want to add. I think a brandy would be best but we only had a small mini-bar style bottle of whisky to hand.

Our recipe is below. Try it and I am sure you will love it.


450g Flour

375ml Water

600g Fruit (a mix of Raisins, Sultanas & prunes)

300g Brown Sugar

300g Butter (pre melted)

75g crushed nuts (“optional” but we used walnuts)

2 teaspoons bicarbonate/raising agent (less if using self-raising flour)

2 Tablespoons of Molasses

½ Cup of liquor


Boil the water. Add the fruit, molasses and sugar then boil the mixture for 5 minutes.

Allow to cool then add the butter and the sieved flour with the raising agent, nuts and liquor.

Pour the mix into a greased cake tin and pop in the oven at a medium heat (150°-170°) for approximately 2 hours (or until baked).

Very simple to make. You can also add a touch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg if you want to spice it up.


Now I need to buy a smaller cake baking tin so that next time we make one it can be stored in the original Patagonian Tia Beryl tin.

As there is a lot of sugar in this cake Dani will not be trying it any time soon. Poor boy. Luckily he has not expressed an interest in the cake and still wants his biscuits.

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