Rout Cakes (Georgian Period)

During the Regency (latter end of Georgian Period) evening parties were common. The word rout, synonymous with large unruly gatherings, soon came to mean a fashionable assembly, or large evening party. Rout Cakes are a kind of rich sweet cake flavoured with orange juice, rose water, brandy, Madeira and currants and were created especially for the occasion.

Extract from Jane Austin’s Emma

........Every body in and about Highbury who had ever visited Mr. Elton, was disposed to pay him attention on his marriage. Dinner-parties and evening-parties were made for him and his lady; and invitations flowed in so fast that she had soon the pleasure of apprehending they were never to have a disengaged day...No invitation came amiss to her. Her Bath habits made evening-parties perfectly natural to her, and Maple Grove had given her a taste for dinners. She was a little shocked at the want of two drawing rooms, at the poor attempt at rout-cakes, and there being no ice in the Highbury card parties. Mrs. Bates, Mrs. Perry, Mrs. Goddard and others, were a good deal behind hand in knowledge of the world, but she would soon shew them how every thing ought to be arranged........

Ingredients - makes 18 – 20 biscuits

150g plain flour Pinch of salt
50g butter, softened 50g Caster sugar
Small egg ½ teaspoon orange juice
½ teaspoon rosewater 1 teaspoon sweet sherry or Madeira
1 teaspoon brandy 25g currants


  1. Heat oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Sift flour and salt into a bowl.
  3. Work the butter in to make a crumbly mixture.
  4. Add the sugar and fruit and mix in.
  5. In a small bowl beat the egg.
  6. Add the orange juice, rosewater, sherry/Madeira and brandy.
  7. Stir well and mix in the liquid slowly until the dough is smooth.
  8. Place the mixture in small heaps, 2cm across, on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 16-18 minutes.
  10. Cool on a wire rack.


Georgian Period