Regency cupcakes - Queen cakes recipe (2024)

I love cakes of all types, from ginger parkin to Victoria sandwich with a few fairy cakes in between, but, when is a fairy cake a cupcake and vice versa? And what are cupcakes exactly? It’s an interesting question, and as the larger style cakes from America known as cupcakes have taken Britain by storm, what of our dainty butterfly and fairy cakes, have they become extinct? Well I don’t think so, there is always room for a plate of fairy (or butterfly) cakes especially when served at a children’s party or for an elegant afternoon tea, where their smaller proportions are more in keeping with the bone china cake stands and delicate cups and saucers.

However, as a cake loving kinda’ gal, I am always up for a celebration, especially when that celebration is for cake! So, when I realised that National Cupcake Week was coming up, I decided to join in with appropriate gusto (and greed?!) and make a batch of cakes. Plus, any national foodie week that celebrates with the tag line of “Go on, Treat Yourself” has my vote! The annual event is sponsored by Tesco, BFP Wholesale and Secret Ingredients this year, 2013. It is designed for bakeries, coffee shops, supermarkets and cafes - basically anyone selling cupcakes - to make the most of their popularity by promoting National Cupcake Week to their customers, and encouraging them to come in and buy a cupcake.

Organisers of National Cupcake Week British Baker are also encouraging bakers to use the week to raise vital funds for the charity CLIC Sargent, which supports children and young people with cancer as well as their families. You can do this by selling a range of special cakes for the charity, and then donating a percentage of the profits to the charity, and as we all know, cakes sell, so hopefully the charity will be flush with extra donations throughout the week. You can read more about how to get involved as well as check out what events are on here, at their website: National Cupcake Week; and, there are also some delicious looking recipes posted there too.

Now to get back to the cupcake and fairy cake debate, I always think of fairy cakes as being smaller and with less icing, not so big; and cupcakes as being larger (often made in what we call muffin tins) with lots of buttercream icing and edible decorations. I love cupcakes as much as I like their diminutive cousins, fairy cakes, but, I am not a lover of excessive buttercream icing, and so when I decided to join in and create a recipe for this delightful cakey week, I went back to the original British cupcake for inspiration, an Eliza Acton recipe no less, and one that would have probably graced the table of Jane Austen.

Britain does have an original cupcake recipe, and it came from much humbler beginnings; a thrifty housewife or “downstairs” cook who finding themselves with an excess of cake mixture at the end of the baking day, would pop the extra batter in a china tea-cup and bake it…..a cupcake would probably have been some excess fruit cake mixture, which was then baked in a couple of tea cups……the poor culinary cousin of the “Queen Cakes”, which, were also baked individually and boasted plump currants, rose-water and almonds and was to be found in the more affluent of households during the 19th century.

I have experimented with baking cakes in cups before, and my recipe for Little Coffee Cup Chocolate-Chip Cakes with Vanilla Cream Froth are always popular, especially when served at the end of a dinner party. However, to celebrate this week of cupcakes, I have decided to go back a few centuries and create a modern day “Regency Cupcake” based on the original recipe from Eliza Acton. My recipe may not call for miles of buttercream, but it needs little adornment as it contains brandy soaked currants, rose water, fresh citrus peel, ground almonds and just a hint of ground mace. The little cakes have a regal name and are very regal in flavour, with my family and friends asking me to bake a second batch, very soon after devouring the first batch!

These little cakes have also appeared in old cookbooks such as the Be-Ro book of home baking, as well as being frequently featured as a popular bake in the television series Larkrise to Candleford. I remember my grandmother use to make them too, and they were always arranged on an old plate with a lace doily…….with a cloud of icing sugar sifted over the top. The recipe I am sharing today is more like the original Eliza Acton recipe, although I have added a few additions myself, such as the brandy soaked fruit! (Just omit this if you are serving these for children) They may not be laden with buttercream icing, but they are still luxurious enough to celebrate National Cupcake Week and I shall be selling a couple of dozen of these over the week, in order for charity. I hope you enjoy this old recipe as much as we have…….and have a fabulous cake-eating week!

Regency cupcakes - Queen cakes recipe (2024)


What is the difference between cupcakes and queen cakes? ›

Since Queen cakes are very similar to cupcakes, many people wonder what the difference is between the two. To answer this question, it should be said that cupcakes have decorations and are usually covered with cream, but the Queen's cake is simple and is only the size of a cupcake.

What are queen cakes made of? ›

He instructs to make his Queen's Cakes with currants, washed, picked and rubbed clean, and flavourings which are a little Mace and orange flower water. He also uses a pound each of butter, flour, sugar and currants but about 5 modern eggs, omitting half the whites.

Why are my queen cakes dry? ›

2) Too much flour was used

If you use a cup rather than a scale there's a good chance you're using too much flour: up to 20% too much, if you use the measuring cup as a scoop then tamp the flour down. Any baked good — especially cake —with too much flour will be dry, hard, crumbly … take your unhappy pick.

How much are queen cakes? ›

KES 87.00. KES 87.00 (tax excl.)

What is the difference between a queen cake and a King Cake? ›

The Queen Cake is a tribute to excess. It is a revved up King Cake that offers a variety of flavors that have become so popular in the King Cake universe. Greg Antoine showed us just how this something for everyone is prepared. This cake has it all.

Why are they called queen cakes? ›

These cakes may have been named for Queen Mary, who reigned in Great Britain from 1689 to 1694, or her sister Anne (1702–1714).

What is the queens favourite cake recipe? ›

Queen Elizabeth's Favorite Cake: Chocolate Biscuit Cake
  1. CAKE. 1/2 teaspoon butter, for greasing the pan. 8 ounces Rich tea biscuits or sweet cookies. 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened. 4 ounces granulated sugar. 4 ounces dark chocolate. 1 egg.
  2. ICING. 8 ounces dark chocolate, for coating. 1 ounce chocolate, for decoration.

What is a New Orleans Queen cake? ›

The Queen cake includes apple, cream cheese, strawberry and bavarian cream filling. It is beautiful to look at and even better to eat! Because every Queen needs to feed a crowd The Queen Cake is only available in sizes Large or Ex Large.

What's the secret to a moist cake? ›

Seven Bakery Secrets to Incredibly Moist Cakes Every Time
  1. Use Buttermilk Instead of Milk.
  2. Add Vegetable Oil.
  3. Use Instant Clearjel or Instant Pudding Mix.
  4. Use the Right Recipe.
  5. Don't Overbake.
  6. Bake in Sheet Pans Instead of individual Cake Pans.
  7. Use a Simple Syrup or Glaze.
Apr 23, 2021

Why do queen cakes sink in the middle? ›

My cake has sunk in the middle.

There are three main reasons for this: a/ the oven door has been opened before the cake has set, b/ the cake didn't go in the oven as soon as the mixture was ready or c/ there's too much raising agent.

How can I make my cakes light and fluffy? ›

Room Temperature Butter / Don't Over-Cream

Most cakes begin with creaming butter and sugar together. Butter is capable of holding air and the creaming process is when butter traps that air. While baking, that trapped air expands and produces a fluffy cake. No properly creamed butter = no air = no fluffiness.

What makes a cake more moist oil or butter? ›

Vegetable oil contributes moistness far more reliably, a result of the fact that oil remains liquid at room temperature while butter solidifies. Liquid contributes to the sensation of moistness, and therefore cakes made with oil often present as moister than their butter-based counterparts.

What makes a cake fluffier butter or oil? ›

The texture of cakes made with oil is—in general—superior to the texture of cakes made with butter. Oil cakes tend to bake up loftier with a more even crumb and stay moist and tender far longer than cakes made with butter. So why do most cake recipes start with butter? Flavor.

What is the best oil for moist cake? ›

Canola Oil

Canola oil is, without doubt, one of the best types of oil for baking. It's preferred in many recipes since it has the most neutral flavor compared to other types of oil. It also tends to be lighter in flavour, so it will not negatively affect the baked product's flavor and texture.

What is the meaning of queen cake? ›

queen cake (plural queen cakes) (cooking, dated) A soft, muffin-sized cake, popular particularly in the 1700s, containing currants, mace and sometimes flavoured with orange or lemon marmalade or shredded coconut and chocolate toppings. quotations ▼

What is the difference between cupcake and normal cake? ›

The main difference between a cake and cupcake is the size. Cupcakes are much smaller, and meant to be consumed by one person whereas cakes are large and meant to be consumed by a group. Any cake can be turned into a cupcake by adjusting the ratio of ingredients, which is why they can be thought of as mini-cakes.

What does cupcake queen look like? ›

Cupcake Queen is a metallic golden cupcake with white frosting and pink sprinkles. She wears a golden crown and golden bow on her head. In her hand she holds a pink scepter with a pink apple on top.

What is a queen King Cake? ›

Started roughly 300 years ago as a dry French bread–type dough with sugar on top and a bean hidden inside to symbolize baby Jesus, the King Cake is now the most iconic symbol of Mardi Gras! Hundreds of thousands of king cakes are eaten in New Orleans and around the world during the Carnival season and beyond.

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