Renaissance Recipe: Small Cakes

This Renaissance recipe is from an actual book of recipes collected by a Renaissance era cook.  We tried the small cakes and we liked them very, very much.  It’s different from modern recipes because it has no leavening agent at all.  This worried me at first, but it turned out delicious.


3 cups flour
¾ cups sugar
¾ pounds (2 ½ cups) raisins
¾ cups butter, room temperature
2 ½ Tbsp. cream
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbsp. water

And here’s what you do:

Mix together the flour, sugar, and nutmeg.
Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or the tines of a fork.

In another bowl mix together the cream, water, and egg yolk.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir.

Stir in the raisins.

With your hands form the dough into small cakes to fit in your palm.

Place the cakes on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
Let cool completely then ice with powdered sugar icing.


I don’t know about you, but we love adding food into our studies of history and geography (and even science when we can sneak it in).  We hope you enjoy these Renaissance small cakes as much as we did.

You can find many more Medieval and Renaissance recipes at Goode Cookery.


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13 Responses to Renaissance Recipe: Small Cakes

  1. Jackie Rodriguez says:

    I just wanted to know what kind of cream you used for this recipe?

  2. Ashley says:

    What kind of cream do I use ?

  3. Melynia J. says:

    We loved them! If you eat tons of sugar you might not think they are sweet enough, but we thought they were tasty and just right!

  4. Tracey says:

    Where is original recipe in Good Cookery. I would like to use for my sons project. He is required to submit from research the original as well as modified

  5. Becky Foster says:

    Approximately how many does this make?

  6. Kari Walls says:

    Hello um what is the history of the cakes? I’ve tried to find some information about them I just can’t find a website.

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