Killer Queen Cakes

Killer Queen Cakes

She’s a Killer Queen/Gunpowder, gelatine/Dynamite with a laser beam/Guaranteed to blow your mind/Anytime – Queen

I spent a recent Saturday at the Waddington International Air Show. I enjoy baking and I also like to be prepared when it comes to kai at such outings. This often results in a hearty fare. For this particular packed lunch the result was not only enough to feed us for lunch, but also for tea, and then for supper! There was a lot of food.

Inside the picnic bag of delights that day were little pottles of the following deliciousness:

Pesto-Pasta Salad w/ Sun Dried Tomatoes
Mushroom & Walnut Pate
Creamy Avocado Potato Salad
Homemade White Bloomer
Olives & Sun Dried Tomatoes
Bananas & Nectarines
Killer Queen Cakes

Killer Queen Cakes (or just Queen Cakes as they are known to non-boganbuddhas) are both a new discovery and a new favourite of mine. Earning favourite status in part because I now have another use for my bun tin other than Mince Pies. However, mostly I love them because they are sweet in a dried-fruit-kinda-way instead of an excess-of-refined-sugars-kinda-way. They are what I consider to be a very ‘grown up’ kinda cake. Much like how Fruit Cake seems to me so much more ‘grown up’ than Chocolate Cake – that’s how I feel about these little morsels.

According to this very interesting site, Queen Cakes are traditionally made of butter, sugar, flour, eggs and baked in a tin. The shape of the tin would vary but heart shaped was particularly popular. A 1724 recipe for Queen Cakes from the aforementioned website lists the ingredients as:

1lb of flour, 1lb refined sugar, 1lb currants, 1lb butter, bit of mace, some orange water and ten eggs, but half the whites

My recipe is based on a WWII era recipe from my Eating for Victory: Healthy Home Front Cooking on War Rations cookbook, which is a collection of reproduced Second World War leaflets. On this occasion I used un-refined castor sugar and agave syrup. However, I have made these with regular castor sugar and English golden syrup and they still came out choice. I also reduced the amount of baking powder from the original 3 teaspoons which was in the recipe which seemed a lot).

Killer Queen Cakes
Makes 1 dozen cakes
Suggested Listening: Killer Queen by Queen (Album: Sheer Heart Attack)


    2 1/2 oz margarine
    2 oz unrefined castor sugar
    1 tablespoons agave nectar (or golden syrup)
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
    1/4 pint milk and water
    6 oz flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    Pinch salt
    1 1/2 oz currants

    12 hole bun tin


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and lightly grease the bun tin in preparation.
  2. In a large bowl cream the margarine and sugar until light.
  3. Stir in the agave nectar (or golden syrup) and vanilla essence.
  4. Stir in the milk and water mixture.
  5. Sieve the flour, baking powder, and salt onto the wet ingredients and fold to half-way incorporate. If you prefer, the double sieve option also works well here. First sieve the flour, baking powder, and salt into a separate bowl and then sieve a second time onto the wet ingredients.
  6. Add the currants and continue to fold until it is all incorporated. The consistency should be light and airy.
  7. Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared bun tin.
  8. Bake in the prepared oven for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Leave to cool 5-10 minutes in the bun tin and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.