Mrs Raffald’s Bride Cake (1769)

This is a superb dark fruit cake, which keeps for months and is well suited for occasions other than weddings. The quantities given by Mrs Raffald for a wedding make a cake of just over 20 lb.: they are reduced here to make a cake of about lb. ( k.).

A very large cake tin is required – about 15 inches (38 cm.) in diameter.


  • ¾ lb. (360 g.) flour
  • ¾ lb. (360 g.) butter
  • ½ teaspoon mace
  • 7 eggs
  • ¾ lb. (360 g.) currants
  • 3 oz. (90 g.) chopped blanched almonds
  • ½ lb. (250 g.) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 8 oz. (250 g.) candied peel, chopped
  • 8 oz. (250 g.) sultanas
  • 8 oz. (250 g.) raisins


The sultanas and raisins replace a vast quantity (3 lb.) of peel, which is less popular nowadays than it was.

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat the egg whites to a stiff froth and mix with butter and sugar. Beat the yolks till creamy and then add them. Put in all the dry ingredients, always beating, and finally beat in the brandy. Put in a lined and greased tin and bake 3½ hours at 300° F., gas mark 2. Test with a skewer and cook a further 10 or 15 minutes if it does not come out clean.