Queen-Cakes (1861) ★★★★★

Here's an appropriately named British recipe. Perfect for the Diamond Jubilee!

Original Recipe:

1773. INGREDIENTS – 1 lb. of flour, 1/2 lb. of butter, 1/2 lb. of pounded loaf sugar, 3 eggs, 1 teacupful of cream, 1/2 lb. of currants, 1 teaspoonful of carbonate of soda, essence of lemon, or almonds to taste.

Mode.—Work the butter to a cream; dredge in the flour, add the sugar and currants, and mix the ingredients well together. Whisk the eggs, mix them with the cream and flavouring, and stir these to the flour; add the carbonate of soda, beat the paste well for 10 minutes, put it into small buttered pans, and bake the cake from 1/4 to 1/2 hour.

Grated lemon-rind may be substituted for the lemon and almond flavouring, which will make the cakes equally nice.

Time. 1/4 to 1/2 hour.

Average cost, 1s. 9d.

Seasonable at any time.

The Verdict:
Yum! Seriously, yum. Mr. Man loved these too. I wasn't quite sure what "small buttered pans" were, so I cooked this up in my mini cheesecake molds and it made jumbo muffins! This cake is really bready like a muffin, with a nice fluffiness, even though I only beat the batter for like 3 minutes instead of 10. I think using a muffin pan would be a good idea, but I also wonder how these would turn out if baked smaller like cookies. The batter is really thick. I love currants, because they give this fresh burst of tartness, and it really goes well with the sweet, slightly lemon-y cake. I do think some lemon zest would have been delicious too....Don't know why I didn't add that!

Modernized Recipe:
(Adapted from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management)

1 pound FLOUR
1/2 pound SUGAR
1/2 pound CURRANTS
1/2 cup CREAM or MILK
1/8 teaspoon LEMON OIL
1 rounded teaspoon BAKING SODA

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Mix in the flour until crumbly like wet sand. Fold in the sugar and currants. 
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and lemon oil. Add to the batter. Lastly, add the baking soda. Beat the batter for a few minutes, or until well combined.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 15 - 50 minutes, depending on the size. My jumbo muffins took about 35 minutes and I also made a tall round cake which took nearly 50. 

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.


  1. These do sound delicious!

    My cooking at primary school consisted of making Queen cakes which I remember as fairy cakes. They had a distinctive texture, but I'm pretty sure we didn't put anything like cream in.

    And I've never heard of a dumpling apple either, and I go to Apple Days where you can try apples with names like Worcester Pearmain, Old Fred and Court Plat Pendu!