Birthday Cake recipe from 1894

This recipe is from ‘The Home Cook Book’ in the collection at the Minden Hills Museum & Heritage Village. It was published in 1894!

A later edition of this same book is available to view in full on

The historic Recipe

Birthday Cake

One pound and a-half of fine sugar, one pound and a-half of butter, three pounds and one-half of currants, two pounds of flour, one-half pound of candied peel, one-half pound almonds, two ounces spices, the grated rind of three lemons, eighteen eggs, one gill of brandy. Paper the hoops, and bake three hours. Ice when cold.

Our Bake

Our Bake

This recipe is part of our Great Historic Bake Off series! Watch the video to see how this recipe turns out!

3 Cups butter
3 1/3 Cups sugar
18 eggs
6 2/3 Cups flour
11 Cups currants
1/2 pound dried fruit
1/2 pound almonds
4 Tbsp all spce
3 lemons (zest only)
4 Tbsp vanilla (or a gill of brandy, which is 1/4 pint or 1/2 Cup)

Cream together butter and sugar. Add in eggs and flour. Add in remaining ingredients and mix well. Consider soaking currants in hot water or brandy for added moisture.

Bake at a low temperature – like a fruit cake. Loaf tins or deep pans will take longer. Shallow cake tins like the ones in the video will bake in 45 minutes at 300F.

Ice when cold. I used store bought cream cheese icing between the layers and topped with icing sugar.


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