Sending a British fruit cake to someone overseas is not only a delicious gift but also a true ‘taste of Britain’ (or a ‘taste of home’ for expats) because fruit cake is the most traditional of all British cakes. A cake with an extraordinary heritage and still the favourite for celebrating weddings and Christmas.
Originally called ‘plum cake’ the origins of fruit cake in England date back to the 16th century. In the 1700’s the cake was traditionally prepared and baked at the end of the harvest. It was said to bring good luck if the cake wasn’t eaten until the beginning of the following harvest. The cake was deemed to be very special, if not to say luxurious. Believe it or not, in the 1800’s eating fruit cake was actually banned for a while because the church considered it ‘sinful’ due to it being too rich and delicious.
Richly flavoured, it gradually evolved into what we would recognise today – being made with a blend of dried vine fruits (the dried grapes we now call sultanas, currants and raisins), mixed with candied or glacé fruits (typically cherries, orange and lemon peel), in a binding of flour, eggs, butter and brown sugar. The grapes, candied cherries and citrus fruits were imported from France, Spain and Greece and, of course, considered to be very exotic.
Fruit cake has always been revered by British royalty. When Queen Victoria married in 1840 her wedding cake was a huge fruit cake (and we mean absolutely enormous – more than a metre in diameter). More recently, Prince Charles and Lady Diana had fruit cake at their wedding in 1981, as did their son Prince William when he married in 2011.
Our ‘Buckingham’ fruit cake is hand made, following a recipe from 1890 and using no artificial colours or flavours. It’s vacuum-sealed in tins which makes it very resilient to long-distance mailing and challenging climates. We guarantee it will be received in excellent condition.
Did you know?.. in 1969, on the Apollo 11 spacecraft for the first landing on the moon, the American astronauts took a slice of fruit cake with them. What better comfort food could there be!