Bilbo's Tea Cake with Currents

Bilbo's Tea Cake with CurrentsBilbo. There is a possibility that you don’t know that name, but if you live in the US it’s quite unlikely. Either way, he was a most beloved hero in JR Tolkien’s book “The Hobbit.” He was the precursing character to Frodo in the “Lord of The Rings” trilogy. He was brave out of necessity, timid by nature, and witty when it really counted. Something we could all aspire to be, I’m sure.

At one point the wizard Gandalf surprised Bilbo with a house full of Dwarves. Being a hobbit, (who eat nearly every hour), he of course had a pantry full of goodies, and one could easy imagine this cake being one of them. Another favorite would have been seed cake. There are many takes on what that might have been like, round is a description in the book for sure, but I also have a recipe for a seed cake of types here.

Bilbo's Cake with Currents

Tolkien fan or not, this cake is tasty and sweet. Perfect for a shire-style tea party, or a simple breakfast with your family. Bonus: It’s super easy to make.

Bilboo’s Tea Cake

For Impressing Wizards (and Dwarves)

By: semiserious chefs
Serves: 4-8


  • 1-2 T orange zest
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 cup dried currents
  • 2 T orange zest
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 4 eggs


  • 1 T orange juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  1. Cut the sugar and zest into the butter. Chop well.
  2. Blend the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, and salt, and add to the butter. Mix throughoutly with hand until dry, crumbled, and well combined.
  3. Stir in the currents with a spoon.
  4. Mix in the eggs.
  5. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 30-45 minutes in preheated oven at 350°F. When fully baked a toothpick will come out clean when inserted into the center.
  6. Mix the orange juice and powdered sugar for a glaze and pour over cooled bread. Let stand until firm. Slice and serve. Cream cheese is a great addition.

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