How to make the Shetland Huffsie (Recipe)

A huffsie is a traditional Shetland fruit cake originating from the island of Whalsay. Flavoured with spices and treacle, the fruit is soaked and the ingredients are boiled prior to baking.

This cake is really easy – and uses minimal equipment. It may not be the lightest as no air is beaten in so it relies on the ‘chemical’ raising agent however it tastes really good and keeps well. It is usually made in a loaf tin. All you need is a saucepan. The dried fruit used can be soaked in cold tea or fruit juice, which adds moisture. It is really good ‘klined’ with butter at teatime.

This recipe comes to us courtesy of Marian Armitage, and you can find it in our booklet, 'A Taste of Shetland Recipe Booklet', available under the 'gifts' section in our shop .

Makes a 2lb cake.


  • 200g Self raising flour
  • 1 level 5ml tsp baking powder
  • 2 level 5ml tsp spice – Your choice
  • 2 Shetland Eggs
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 100g Shetland butter
  • 200g mixed dried fruit soaked in 100ml cold tea or fruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon treacle


  1. Heat the oven to 150°c. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
  2. Weigh the flour, spices and baking powder and set aside. Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl.
  3. Put the sugar, butter, treacle and fruit into a large saucepan and bring to the boil slowly. Boil for 2-3 minutes, watching all the time. Remove from the heat and cool a little. Add the eggs and beat well; lastly add in the flour mixture.
  4. Transfer immediately to the prepared loaf tin and cook for 45 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. You can test its readiness by inserting a skewer - if it comes out clean, it's baked. Cool in the tin.
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