Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Twelfth Night Cake period images

Queen Victoria's 30 inch-diameter "Twelfth Cake," 1849, is the first of many images of Twelfth Night cakes, other food/drinks and activities for Twelfth Night (Jan 6). Click images to enlarge.

“We give a representation of the Twelfth Cake prepared for her Majesty, which graced the Royal table at Windsor Castle on Saturday last (Twelfth Night).

This superb Cake was designed and carried out by her Majesty's confectioner, Mr. Mawditt. The Cake was of regal dimensions, being about 30 inches in diameter, and tall in proportion: round the side the decorations consisted of strips of gilded paper, bowing outwards near the top, issuing from an elegant gold bordering. The figures, of which there were sixteen, on the top of the Cake, represented a party of beaux and belles of the last century enjoying a repast al fresco, under some trees; whilst others, and some children, were dancing to minstrel strains.

The repast, spread on the ground, with its full complemens of comestibles, decanters, and wine-glasses (the latter, by the way, not sugar glasses, but real brittle ware), was admirably modelled, as were also the figures, servants being represented handing refreshments to some of the gentlemen and ladies, whilst some of the companions of the latter were dancing. The violinist and harpist seemed to be thoroughly impressed with the importance of their functions, and their characteristic attitudes were cleverly given. As a specimen of fancy workmanship, the ornaments to the cake do credit to the skill of Mr. Mawditt, the Royal confiseur.”
The Queen's Twelfth Cake. Illustrated London News. Jan. 13, 1849

Jan 5 Thu 2 Twelfth Night Revelry, Fun and Food: A Twelfth Night. Paul Couchman. The Regency Cook £12.50 HERE


Twelfth Night cakes in shop windows. Small cakes to “cake being so large as to fill two ovens in baking” and all lit by "argand-lamps and manifold wax-lights." HERE
Twelfth Night pranks. Mischievous boys would nail, NAIL the coat tails to the sills or pin adults' coats together.. as many as "eight to ten persons." HERE
Plum pudding for "Old Christmas Day" (Jan 6) HERE
Twelfth Night Cakes. French print from Jean Mariette (1660-1742) in Chamber's The Book of Days, 1869 HERE
Egg nog for Christmas, New Year's Eve, Twelfth Night. A “southern tradition” (Baltimore 1840) for a tub kept on porch for 12 days for visitors when house small. HERE. Egg nog HERE
The Twelfth Night waffles of Dutch painter Jan Steen’s 3 paintings - A Twelfth Night Feast - c.1661 1662 1670s HERE
"Triumphs and Trophies in Cookery, to be used at Festival Times, as Twelfth-day” section in Robert May's The Accomplisht Cook, 1685 includes egg shell perfumed bombs, ship, stag, pie with live birds or frogs HERE
Twelfth Night characters on paper, to replace the bean or coin in the cake HERE
Twelfth Night Cake Serviette from an 1873 book on napkin folding HERE


Twelfth Night. Zach Lemhouse, Janet Puckett Wade. Lunch & Learn. Charlotte Museum of History. Jan 6, 2021 HERE



©2023 Patricia Bixler Reber
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