Let’s celebrate the Queen’s birthday with cake!

April 21st marks the Queen’s 90th birthday — and we’re celebrating with our 1953 recipe for Queen Elizabeth II cake.

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Queen's Cake

On Thursday April 21, 2016 Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning British Monarch in history, turns 91. Since we love any reason for a royal celebration, we’re taking another look at one our favourite cakes from the Chatelaine archives (which we made last September to celebrate the day she became the longest-reigning British monarch). This special cake recipe* comes from the June 1953 issue — and was created specifically for the Queen’s coronation.

1953 Chatelaine cover

Celebrate the Queen’s birthday (or simply taste a little bit of history!) with this sweet & spicy cake. Maybe we’ll never be royals, but we will bake this cake. (And eat it too.)

Queen Elizabeth II Cake Recipe

Queen Elizabeth II Cake From Chatelaine – June, 1953
We gave this recipe a test drive in the Chatelaine Kitchen, and added some of our notes below. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup butter, margarine or shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • POUR boiling water over dates and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool. Cream fat; add vanilla and cream together. Gradually add sugar, blending thoroughly. Add eggs and beat well. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with date mixture. Start and end with dry ingredients and beat smooth after each addition. Turn into two 9-inch layer-cake pans that have been greased and lined with waxed paper. (Editor’s note: we used parchment.) Bake in a moderate oven (350F) for 30 minutes or until done. (Editor’s note: we inserted a skewer in the centre of the cake after 30 min and it came out clean.)

Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded coconut, cut fine (Editor’s note: we used unsweetened coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
  • Few drops yellow food colouring

Instructions

  • WHILE cake is baking, mix together coconut, granulated sugar and orange rind. Add cream and let mixture stand. Stir frequently so that coconut becomes thoroughly moistened. When cake is cold, drain coconut and orange rind, and squeeze out thoroughly with hands. Save the liquid. (Editor’s note: we couldn’t squeeze out any liquid.) Blend 4 to 5 tablespoons of liquid (Editor’s note: we used 4 tbsp 35% cream) with sifted icing sugar to make a thin frosting. Spread drained coconut and orange rind over frosting on each layer and put layers together. Just before serving decorate top of cake with fresh orange sections.

* While we firmly believe our vintage recipe is the ultimate version of the Queen Elizabeth cake, our pals at Maclean’s magazine have their own favourite. Watch how they make it below.