1599 English wedding cake

Anglijskij svadebnyj pirog


Ingredients (for 6 persons)

  • ½ lb butter
  • ¼ lb, or ½ glass, sugar
  • lb eggs, or 3 medium eggs
  • lb, or ½ glass almonds
  • lb, or 2 glasses, currants
  • ½ zolotnik, or 1 very small, nutmeg
  • ½ zolotnik, or 35, cloves
  • ½ zolotnik, or 1 teaspoon, cinnamon
  • a little ginger
  • lb, or 1 glass, flour
  • ¼ glass Malaga
  • ¼ glass red wine*
  • ½ spoon butter to grease the paper


Beat 1 lb butter until white. Also beat until white ½ lb sugar and lb eggs (the eggs must be weighed together with their shells). Mix the sugar and eggs with the butter. Sprinkle on ½ lb finely pounded almonds and 1⅓ lb currants which have been sorted over, washed, and wiped dry. Add 1 zolotnik each nutmeg, ground cloves, and cinnamon, plus a little ginger. Mix all this as well as possible, sprinkling on lb flour. Add ½ glass each Malaga and French wine.* Cut out the hair mesh from a small sieve and set the sieve rim on a baking sheet lined with buttered paper.** Add the prepared dough and place in the oven.

*Molokhovets did not specify the color of the wine in the body of the recipe, only in the list of ingredients.

**With these instructions Molokhovets is simply improvising a flan ring. She did not mention lining the sieve drum with buttered paper, but she would have done that to prevent the batter from sticking. Aside from the absence of candied citron and candied orange and lemon peel, Molokhovets’ recipe is similar to one given by Mrs. Beeton for Rich Bride or Christening Cake. Molokhovets’ recipe omitted the traditional English finishing of almond paste and Royal icing. (See Beeton, Book of Household Management, 854.)