Home » Cookbook recipes » 18th century recipes » Putting on the pounds: Georgian pound cake

Putting on the pounds: Georgian pound cake

Over the past month, we’ve received numerous comments about how rich the Cookbook’s Georgian recipes are.

Today’s recipe should, in theory, prove no worse for your waistline than a traditional pound cake, which draws on eggs, butter, flour and sugar in equal parts. It’s the quantities here you have to be wary of: make the recipe up as our unknown ladies advise, and you’ll end up with cake to feed about 40-50 people!

Unless you have a range cooker, an enormous baking tin and a mass-catering opportunity around the corner, you’ll want to reduce the quantities by at least a third. It will also mean you don’t have to wait 2½ hours for your cake to cook through…

Georgian recipe for a 3 pound cake... you need a good appetite for this one!

Georgian recipe for a 3 pound cake… you need a good appetite for this recipe!

To Make a 3 Pound Cake

Beat 3 lb of butter with your hand, to cream, an hour. Then put 2 lb ½ of sugar well dryed & sifted. Put it in by degrees. Put in 3 lb of flower dryed & sifted all at once, the third part of a pint of brandy, ye yolks of 3 lb of eggs well beat, & ye whites whiped to a curd, 4 lb of currans washed & picked, half a pound of almonds cliced thin, what citron & orange you please. Two hours & a half will bake it. If it be a good soaking oven, see it with ye whites of eggs, double refined sugar & fine starch beat ’em together. The longer they are beat up, ye whiter it will be. Lay it before the fire or put it in ye oven to harden.

If your oven is good and hot, the recipe recommends that you bake your cake with a frosting of beaten egg whites, double refined sugar and starch.

Fancy a go? Don’t forget to share your Georgian baking experiments with us by emailing archives@westminster.gov.uk, or by posting a comment here on the blog!

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4 thoughts on “Putting on the pounds: Georgian pound cake

  1. I just posted about pound cake a few days ago. I made Hannah Glasse’s mid-18th century recipe and, as in your recipe, Glasse called for beating the flour into the butter first, which seems so unusual now. I tried beating it by hand for an hour but only lasted 20 minutes!

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