There are a number of ways to make a seed cake, often depending on your own tastes and preferences, as well as the recipe you choose to follow. You should typically come to a few decisions before selecting the recipe you would like to use, such as the type of seeds you want in your cake and how traditional you want to be. Since baked goods often rely on proper proportions of ingredients, you should typically find a recipe rather than experiment with different amounts. Different recipes for seed cake may call for various ingredients, though you will typically need flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and some type of seeds.
Seed cake is a type of cake that was once quite popular in British cuisine, often served at harvest or spring festivals. There are many different recipes available for making this sort of cake, including some that are hundreds of years old. The recipe you choose will typically have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your cake. You should look for a seed cake recipe that uses seeds you like, though you may be able to substitute different seeds in some recipes, and one which you will feel comfortable preparing.
Older recipes for a seed cake, especially those that are hundreds of years old, may call for ingredients quite different from more modern recipes. These ingredients may include the use of alcohol, especially ale or brandy, in the preparation of the cake. If you are using a recipe that is traditional, but which someone has updated for easier reading and following, then you may be able to prepare the seed cake without converting measurements or finding obscure ingredients. You should expect to see ingredients such as whole wheat flour and yeast in such recipes, however, while more modern recipes often do not use these.
Newer recipes for seed cake typically use standard flour and baking powder, or self-rising flour, and forgo the addition of alcohol. Different types of seeds will usually be called for in these recipes, and while caraway seed is traditional and commonly called for, other seeds such as poppies, coriander, or crushed anise can be used as well. Some recipes also call for other flavors beyond the seeds and sugar, such as lemon juice or zest, ground almonds, and vanilla extract. One especially popular type of seed cake is a lemon sponge cake that includes poppy seeds, and this is typically prepared as either a single cake or as individual muffins.