Food & Drinks

10 of the Best British Cakes

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10 of the Best British Cakes

Britain is a nation that loves to bake. In fact British Cakes are held in such high esteem they remain the crowning glory of the nostalgic tradition of afternoon tea.

11 Alternative afternoon teas in London

Here are some quintessentially British cakes that have not only stood the test of time but appear on cake stands and family kitchen tables up and down the country.

From cakes with royal roots to less regal origins these are among best and most unforgettable british cakes worth knowing about.

Find out 5 essential cake making methods.

British Cakes

1. Victoria Sponge Cake (top image)

This beloved British layer cake is a steadfast favourite in homes and tea shops around the country. Apparantly Queen Victoria was particularly partial and some of the earliest recorded recipes date back to 1861. What this simple cake lacks in glamour it makes up for in deliciousness, with a buttery sponge sandwiched together with a decadent layer of jam and lashings of whipped cream. A generous slice is perfect served with a cup of tea, naturally. 

Try this fun variation on a theme: Victoria Sandwich Whoopie pie.

2. Battenburg Cake

Still on a regal theme, this marzipan covered sponge patchwork tea time cake is said to have originated as a homage to the marriage of Prince Louis of Battenburg to Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, although that's still up for debate.

Food52 have just the battenberg recipe here.

3. Fruit Cake

Afternoon tea would not be complete without a slice of dense and moist raisin, sultana and if you're lucky, cherry filled fruit cake.

Here's a recipe for a spiced and candied fruit cake without gluten.

4. Scones

However you pronounce them, scones have been around for a long time - The stalwart of tea time.  Eat them still warm from the oven with lashings of clotted Devon cream and strawberry jam.

Try this putting a savoury twist on tea time with these cheese scones.

5. Madeira Cake

Not to be confused with the country, this firm yet light lemony cake dates back to the 18th or 19th century and takes its name from its asociation with Madeira wine from Portugal.

6. Bakewell

This elegant almond influenced tart is made with shortcrust pastry layered with jam, moist frangipane, and topped with flaked almonds. The perfect slice to accompany a cup of tea.

7. Parkin

This sticky ginger cake is native to the north and is particularly delicious enjoyed on 5 November during Bonfire celebrations.

Here's the recipe you need for this spicy and satisfying winter warmer: Parkin cake recipe

8. Dundee Cake

One of Scotlands most popular cakes boasts a 350 years ago history. The dense and rich cake is topped off with circles of blanched almonds, which is credited to Mary Queen of Scots.

9. Simnel cake

Simnel cake is a rich fruit cake eaten at Easter time and covered in marzipan - eaten since medieval times the eleven marzipan balls on top represent the eleven appostles of Christ minus Judas.

10. Flapjack

This easy to make tray bake is a kids as well as a tea time favourite. Soft, crunchy, chewy oats drenched in syrup - what's not to like? Breakfast time, tea time or snack time, any time is a good excuse for a flapjack.


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