This is my take on a sweet tradition from years gone by: Made with a few simple ingredients, a love cake would be made when a girl was courting, to show her cooking skills to a suitor. 






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (25 votes)


  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 15 g lard
  • 15 g butter
  • 1½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 175 ml milk, plus extra for glazing
  • 2-3 tbsp your best strawberry jam

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.

2. Mix together the flour, cornflour and salt. Using your fingertips, rub in the lard and butter. Stir in the sugar. Gradually add the milk and mix until a soft dough is formed you may not need to use all the milk).

3. Lightly knead on a floured surface until a smooth dough is formed (this won’t take long). Roll out the dough to a 50 cm x 20 cm rectangle. Spread the jam over the dough.

4. Roll the dough from the longest side as if making a Swiss roll. Then bring the ends together, forming the roll into a heart shape. Stick the ends together using a little milk.

5. Make small incisions over the surface of the heart shape. Brush the top with milk.

6. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until the cake is golden and the base is cooked through.