Today is Queen Elizabeth’s birthday. Even before the big day, the news came out about her cake. Instead of the traditional fruitcake, the cake is an orange drizzle sponge.
What? How can that be?
I learned about the traditional English Christmas and holiday cake when I taught middle school in Sydney, Australia. My assignment was to demonstrate how to make a Christmas cake for my students, then they would make them. Of course, I had to look up what an English fruitcake is.
Instead of including so much of those candied fruits used here in America in fruitcakes, English fruitcake has more raisins, sultanas or golden raisins, and nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, and almonds.
When Prince William and Kate Middleton were married, they had an eight-tier traditional English fruitcake. See a photo of it here. An English fruitcake recipe also is included in the article.
The English fruitcake is covered with fondant. I had to practice rolling it out so I could show my students how to do it. Fortunately, the quarter ended before I had to show them how to decorate it. See the photo above for an example how intricate some of the English Christmas fruitcake decorations are.
The queen said she liked the taste of her birthday cake and it was easy to cut, according to an article in The Telegraph. She struggled to cut a cake at a Women’s Institute event last year, the article said. Click on the article link to see a photo of the queen’s birthday cake.
Last year’s winner of the Great British Bake Off baked the queen’s birthday cake.