Thursday, May 15, 2014

Anna Sultana's Queen Elizabeth Cake #2

It’s finally getting warmer in Winnipeg.
Yep… it’s time for the royals to come to Winnipeg for another visit.

In 2012 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip came to Winnipeg.
That visit went more smoothly than their 2002 Winnipeg visit.
That’s when Queen Elizabeth’s boat broke down mid-river.
She had to be towed by another boat which was carrying her security detail.
No harm done and we all got a royal chuckle out of it.

I still admire Queen Elizabeth - nothing gets her down. 
All she said was "That was interesting," as she was helped from one boat into the other to reach shore.
Prince Charles has a lot to live up to with her as a role model.

Oh, well, it won’t be long before it’s Prince William and Kate’s turn.
And then there’ll be the adorable Prince George Alexander Louis.
In New Zealand Kate revealed that Prince George isn't a big fan of vegetables.
She and Prince William have had to sneak them into the 8-month-old’s food.

About two years ago I posted Ma’s recipe for Queen Elizabeth Cake.
It’s a Date and Walnut Cake with a brown sugar coconut topping.
I posted it because in 2012 we were celebrating Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee.

To be honest Ma had two recipes.
I posted the one she usually served.
The other recipe has a sauce.
By the time Ma had made the cake and topping she figured it was enough.
But, maybe for a wedding, christening or jubilee it’s worth the bother.

No matter, they are both great cakes.
To honour a great Queen.
And I’m sure Kate wouldn’t have to sneak a slice of either into Prince George.


The sauce will keep well in the fridge for up to five days if stored in an airtight container.  Heat it up again before using. 

Store the cake at room temperature, covered, for up to three days.

                        Queen Elizabeth Cake

For the Cake

Preheat oven to 350º
Grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan

In a saucepan place
1 Cup water
1 Cup pitted dates, cut up
Bring to boil. 
Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, until water is absorbed.
Set aside.

Sift together
1 1/2 Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl beat until creamy
1/4 Cup unsalted butter, softened
1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat in
1 large egg

Beginning and ending with the dry, stir in sifted ingredients, alternating with the date mixture.
Mix well after each addition. 

Stir in
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts
Turn into prepared pan.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes.

While the cake is baking, prepare
Brown Sugar Coconut Topping

Combine in a saucepan
1/2 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 Cup unsalted butter
3/4 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Stirring constantly, bring all ingredients to a boil.
Simmer over low heat 3 minutes.

After cake has baked, spread topping on cake.
Place under the broiler for another 10 minutes.
Topping will bubble.
Watch the cake closely to prevent the coconut from burning. 
Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing. 
Transfer to a cake stand or plate.

For the Sauce

In a saucepan place
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup heavy cream
Bring all ingredients to boil, then simmer, stirring constantly.
Serve the sauce with the cake, while it’s still warm or at room temperature. 


  1. Ahh - Queen Elizabeth Cake! This was a favourite recipe of my mother's, and one of the first things I learned to bake as a young girl.

    I am interested in the true origin of this recipe. If you Google for answers, you will find a common belief that the recipe has to do with Elizabeth's coronation, and that it is the only cake that the Queen herself actually enters the royal kitchen to make. This kitchen detail smacks of urban legend to me, although it is true that the Queen cooks things now and then . . .

    There is also a belief that it is a uniquely Canadian recipe - again, perhaps created to commemorate the coronation. It is certainly a popular recipe in this country.

    My mom always told me that the recipe was devised by the young Elizabeth herself when she was in Girl Guides, aged eleven or twelve. Or, if she did not actually invent or adapt the recipe, she did bake it in order to attain her Cooking Badge. The Royal Family has always been strongly connected to the Guides movement, and both Elizabeth and her sister Margaret were Guides and then Rangers from pre-WW II days and beyond.

    I am going to go with my mother's version. For one thing, her yellowed old recipe is entitled PRINCESS Elizabeth Cake, which tells me that the origins go further back than the coronation. And, since I myself was born exactly three weeks before Queen Elizabeth's coronation, and my mom was close in age to the Queen, she was quite steeped in royal trivia which she tended to remember very well.

    In any case, this is a delicious recipe. I recall this cake being served at all the bridal and baby showers throughout the 1950's and 60's - no sauce - it was cut in small pieces and included on platters of brownies, matrimonial cake, nut bread, and lemon slice.

    Thanks, Margaret!

  2. Hi, Pamela,

    You're welcome and Happy Victoria's Day!!
    I would go with your mother's version, too.

    Queen Elizabeth was with Prince Philip when he was stationed in Malta late 1949. I was born May 1, 1950 - Princess Anne was born August 15, 1950, about the same time my parents and I arrived in America.

    As Malta was part of the British empire, you can imagine how steeped my parents were in royal trivia.

    Oh, did I mention my name is Margaret Rose....

    1. Ah - great little stories!

      My daughter was born on Queen Victoria's birthday - May 24th - but I somehow missed giving her that as a middle name!

  3. Pamela, your Mom gave you a touch of royalty in your name.. Philip's cousin Pamela Mountbatten, as in Lord Mountbatten, who was a big influence on both Prince Philip and Prince Charles.

    Pamela was in Malta at the same time as Philip and Elizabeth. Ah, family!


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