12 British Cake Recipes to Sweeten Your Celebration

Brits love to bake! And so many delicious cakes originated in Britain. We've gathered up our best British cake recipes for this collection, including timeless classics such as Battenberg cake and Victoria sponge, which are must-haves for afternoon tea, as well as a crowd-pleasing sticky toffee pudding cake, an old-fashioned English walnut date cake, and many more delights.

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Victoria Sponge Cake

This classic cake consists of two light sponge cakes sandwiched together with jam and cream. Victoria sponge cake is an essential element of a traditional afternoon tea, and it always tops the list of Britain's favorite cakes!

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Perfect Parkin

Parkin is a traditional soft, sticky cake from Yorkshire in England that's made rich with butter, oats, golden syrup, and treacle (molasses). Some versions add ground ginger. If you can resist the temptation, it actually tastes best made several days in advance and kept in an airtight container to mature.

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Battenburg Cake

Battenburg or Battenberg cake, with its colored checkered pattern and covering of marzipan, was introduced to the British public when it was made for Queen Victoria's granddaughter's wedding to Prince Louis of Battenberg in 1884. It has been a favorite tea time treat ever since.

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Mincemeat Cake

There is no meat in this cake. Mincemeat is a sweet mixture of dried fruits and spices that is most famously used in mince pies at Christmas time. "Excellent cake and not just for the holidays," says Allrecipes Allstar Jan Mowbray. "I used my own mincemeat and baked the cake in a bundt pan. The cake is beautifully moist and tender and delicious!"

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Vanilla Madeira Cake

Another classic British cake, Madeira cake is a slightly dense butter cake often flavored with lemon, orange, vanilla, or glace cherries. Its firm texture is perfect for using in an English sherry trifle.

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English Walnut Date Cake

Walnuts pair perfectly with sweet chewy dates in this rich, dense old-fashioned English Christmas cake. A small slice goes a long way! "This is more of a confection than a cake — and it is wonderful," says home cook Syd. "Unbelievably delicious and extremely beautiful!"

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Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake
Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake | Photo by Meredith. Meredith

Try this rich, sticky cake made with dates for a true British dessert. It's served with a buttery, caramel sauce. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side is optional but divine. "Excellent recipe!" says home cook ALBY44. "Tried a version of this 6 years ago at a tea shop in England, and this recipe is pretty close!"

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English Christmas Cake

Most British families make (or enjoy) this rich, moist fruit cake at Christmas. It's traditionally covered with almond paste and royal icing for a more festive touch. Many British households make their Christmas cake on the last Sunday in November and continue to "feed" it brandy until closer to Christmas.

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Easter Simnel Cake

This traditional Easter fruitcake has been made in England since as far back as the 11th century. When the cake has cooled, it is topped with almond paste and decorated with marzipan balls that represent the apostles.

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English Caraway Cake

Caraway cake is featured in Mrs Beeton's Victorian cookery book, written in the 19th century, in which she referred to it as "Seed Cake." This not-too-sweet cake is perfect with a cup of tea. A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg makes a great addition.

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Best Ever Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon drizzle cake is loved by Brits and is a steadfast favorite in tea rooms and cafes all over England. A sweet lemon glaze is poured over a warm lemon-scented cake and left to cool in the pan. The glaze will crystallize and harden as the cake cools.

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Syrup Sponge Pudding

This is not a pudding in the American sense — it's a steamed sponge cake that's sweetened with golden syrup. You can substitute jam for the golden syrup. Stay traditional and serve this cake with piping hot custard for an incredibly comforting winter dessert.

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