Bride Cake

Celebratory Recipe to mark the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton

The ‘Bride Cake’ pre-dates the rich fruit wedding cake we know today. The first known printed recipe for Bride Cake is found in Elizabeth Raffald's 1769 Experianced [sic] English Housekeeper. This cake was served at the wedding breakfast and shared with household servants. Pieces were also sent to absent friends and relatives. These were not the multi-tiered creations we see today, but what they lacked in height they made up for in width. One of many wedding cakes Queen Victoria’s at her wedding in 1840, measured 9 feet around and weighed 300 pounds (about 140kg). I would have loved to see the oven that took that one!

Elizabeth Raffald’s original recipe used four times the quantities given below. You will understand why I have reduced the amounts to a more useable size. I have also recommended the creaming of the butter, sugar and egg yolks be done by food mixer. The original recipe calls for them to be beaten by hand for “at least half an hour”. If I had a spare half hour I certainly wouldn’t use it beating cake mixture!

Ingredients - Makes a 9 inch square cake

1lb flour 8 Eggs, separated
1lb butter 1 lb currants
1lb caster sugar 5oz ground almonds

½ tsp ground mace

12 oz candied peel, chopped
½ tsp grated nutmeg 4fl oz brandy


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300° F/Gas Mark 2.
  2. Generously grease a tall 9in square cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
  3. Whip the whites of 8 eggs to stiff peaks and set aside.
  4. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and egg yolks.
  5. Once they are combined, fold in the egg whites, brandy or juice and spices.
  6. Add the flour a little at a time until it is incorporated.
  7. Stir in the ground almonds and currants.
  8. Spoon ¼ of the batter into the tin and top with ⅓ of the citron, orange peel and lemon peel. Repeat twice more and top with remaining batter.
  9. Bake for 2½ - 3 hours (a skewer should come out dry).
  10. This cake relies entirely on the beaten egg white as a raising agent and makes for a lighter fruit cake than today’s wedding cakes. The layering of the candied peel certainly makes for some mouthfuls of beautiful citrus flavoured mouthfuls. All in all, this got the thumbs up from my Official Taster and lasted him for several days.

So with our Bride Cake and glass of bubbly near to hand, my Official Taster and I wish the royal couple a long and happy marriage.


Prince William and Kate Middleton