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Instructions for baking a Great Cake

Original Recipe:

Take 40 eggs and divide the whites from the yolks and beat them to a froth then work the four pounds of butter to a cream and put the whites of eggs to it a spoonful at a time till it is well worked then put 4 pounds of sugar finely powdered to it in the same manner then put in the yolks of eggs and five pounds of flour and five of fruit. Two hours will bake, add mace and nutmeg. ½ pint of wine and fresh brandy.

Modern Instructions for baking a Great Cake


  • 1 lb. eggs
  • 1 lb. butter
  • 1 lb. sugar
  • 1 ¼ lb. flour
  • 1 ¼ lb. currants soaked in brandy
  • Mace and nutmeg to taste


  • Soak the currants in brandy until they plump. Warming the brandy a little will help this go faster.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan and set aside.
  • Strain the currants and pat dry. Toss in a little flour. This will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake pan.
  • In a mixer, cream butter until light; add the sugar. Continue to mix until light and fluffy until the mixture has the consistency of whipped butter.
  • Separate the eggs. Whisk the eggs into a meringue; you want stiff peaks. Whisk the yolks until they are pale and creamy in texture. Gently fold the yolks into the butter/sugar mixture until just combined. Fold the meringue into the flour, being careful to not deflate too much of the meringue.
  • Carefully combine both mixtures. Fold in the currants and add the spices.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan leaving an inch at the top for the cake to rise.
  • Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. As we like to say: Bake until done.
  • Let rest for 30 minutes on a cooling rack. Put a plate face down on top of the cake pan. Flip it over and the cake will release from the pan. Poke small holes in the top of the cake with a wooden skewer. Once every few days, douse with a shot or two of brandy. Keep the cake covered with plastic wrap until ready to serve.