If you are like me, over the past number of days you have been watching all the happenings in England related to Queen Elizabeth’s death including the Queen’s funeral yesterday. England does pomp and pageantry like no other country. And the display of this did not disappoint yesterday.
The funeral was certainly fit for a Queen that devoted her entire life to service and country. From seemingly perfect execution to an emotional King Charles to the tearful end when the Queen's piper played, while walking slowly away and alone down a hall while her coffin was lowered slowly into the crypt, as the bagpipe music became fainter and fainter. It was so touching and final. I think even all the stiff upper lip Brits must have shed tears… I did.
Years ago, during our first trip to England, my husband Matt and I were walking along one side of Westminster Abbey when we came across a small crowd of people lingering near one of the auto entrances. There were several police milling about and on motorcycles. Curious, Matt asked a lady what was happening, and she looked at him and said “Why, it’s the Queen!” And she then pointed to the roof of the Abbey where a flag was flying. She explained this flag was the Queen’s “Royal Standard”, and wherever she was, the flag was raised.
And, sure enough, after waiting about 15 minutes, the Queen and Prince Philip slowly rode out in a beautiful Rolls Royce Phantom limousine, while they smiled and waved at all of us. We were pretty psyched with our “stumbled upon” luck!
Anyways, that’s my Queen Elizabeth story.
For some time now, I have had a vintage recipe called “Queen Elizabeth Cake”. Having never made the recipe, in light of current events, this was the perfect time to give it a try. I got the cake recipe from a vintage recipe Facebook group I belong to.
The note on the old recipe card reads: This is supposed to be the cake Queen Elizabeth makes herself. The Queen’s request is that it not be passed on, but sold for CHURCH purposes only. Large amounts of cake she makes each year for the CHURCH OF ENGLAND. A piece of the cake is sold with a recipe. The idea is to have more and more cake in the Parishes throughout the country. It always sells because it is good, and because it is the Queen’s own. It originated in Buckingham Palace after the Coronation
All one needs to do is google “Queen Elizabeth Cake” to be presented with many similar and even exact recipes. I don’t know if there is truth to the "note" on the card or even the recipe itself. And information on the web is inconclusive. However, what I do know is the cake is super easy to make, moist and delicious. And, it has a very British flavor, not unlike sticky toffee pudding.
If you make the recipe, please share your thoughts. And, if you have any first or secondhand knowledge about the facts in the “note” or the recipe, I love to hear about it!
Queen Elizabeth Cake
Usually any recipe I post includes olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar. To be true to the vintage nature of this recipe and out of respect for Queen Elizabeth (if in fact this is her recipe) I have not modfied it. However, I did try it with a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar over the top, once served and it was very, very tasty. I used our Winter Blend Balsamic Vinegar, but whatever is your favorite flavor will work.
This cake is a delicious substitue for coffee cake. It works well for breakfast or for a dessert after dinner. Also, if one is allergic to tree nuts, use unsalted peanuts, they also add a great flavor to the cake.
1 cup boiling water
1 cup chopped, pitted dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 ½ cup all purpose flour- sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅓ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped nuts (toasted if desired)
5 tablespoons brown sugar
5 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut - toasted
For the Date mixture
For the mix
For the Icing
Spray a 9X12 pan with non-stick spray (line bottom with parchment if desired - but not necessary)
Pour the one cup of boiling water over the dates and baking soda. Stir and then allow to sit while continuing with recipe
Add the sugar and butter to mixing bowl and beat till incorporated
Add the egg and vanilla and beat until just incorporated
Slowly add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix till incorporated
Add the Date mixture and the chopped nuts and mix until incorporated.
Pour mixture into pan and spread batter evenly.
Bake a 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
For the Icing - Make icing a few minutes before cake is done
Add the butter, brown sugar and heavy cream to a small sauce pan. Boil for about 3 minutes.
After cake comes out of oven, pour warm icing over the warm cake.
Spread Icing evenly over entire cake
Sprinkle with toasted coconut
Enjoy with English Breakfast Tea (of course)!