Fitzbillies share their recipe for a Queen Elizabeth II cake to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
You’ll have heard of a Victoria’s sponge, but you may not have come across a Queen Elizabeth II cake. Popular in Canada, this cake is made with rich, melt-in-the-mouth dates paired with the musky flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg, topped with orange and coconut icing – perfect for brining along to a street party or enjoying with a cup of tea over the long weekend.
Below you’ll find Fitzbillies’ recipe for a Queen Elizabeth II, taken from Chatelaine’s June issue in 1953, which uses U.S. Systems of Measurements – you can find the converted values in brackets!
For the cake:
- 1 cup (236g) of boiling water
- 1 1/2 cups (262.5g) chopped dates
- 1 1/2 cups (340.5g) butter or margarine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 cups (270g) sifted flour
- 2 teaspoons (8g) of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) of baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6g) cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon (2g) of nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt (1g)
- Pour the boiling water over the dates and simmer for 8-10 minutes, then cool.
- Cream the butter or margarine; add the vanilla and cream together.
- Gradually add the sugar, blending thoroughly.
- Add the eggs and beat well. Put to one side.
- In a separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt).
- To the egg and sugar mixture, add, alternately, your dry ingredients mix and the soaked dates mix, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Make sure to beat smooth after each addition.
- Pour the mixture into two 9-inch layer-cake pans, greased and lined with waxed paper.
- Bake in a moderate oven (around 180 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or until done.
For the icing:
- 2 cups (166g) shredded coconut, cut fine
- 2 tablespoons (28g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (14g) grated orange rind
- 1/2 (120g) cup cream
- 1 1/2 cups (181g) sifted icing sugar
- A few drops of yellow food colouring
- While the cake is baking, mix together the coconut, granulated sugar and orange rind.
- Add the cream and let the mixture stand.
- Stir frequently so that the coconut becomes thoroughly moistened.
- Once the cake is out of the oven and has had a chance to cool, drain the coconut and orange rind, and squeeze out using your hands, collecting the liquid in a bowl underneath.
- Blend 4-5 tablespoons of the liquid with your sifted icing sugar and a few drops of food colouring to make a thin icing.
- Spread the drained coconut and orange rind over the icing on each layer of the cake and put the layers together.
- Just before serving, decorate the top of the cake with fresh orange sections.