Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Banquet Hop--- Let's Talk About Regency Wedding Cakes

It's June, the month for weddings; what better topic for a food related blog hop than a discussion of wedding cakes from the Regency Era? 

Imagine if Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy got married today. Given Mr. Darcy's remarkable income (some estimate that it would be roughly $1M annually) and prestigious family, we would certainly expect their wedding cake to be a fancy multi-tiered concoction created by any one of a number of reality show bakers. 

Today, they might have something like this, though I suppose Mr. Darcy would not care for something so whimsical.

But Lizzy and Darcy married at a time when weddings, and wedding cakes, were a much simpler matter. 

Regency Era wedding cakes were a single layer and may not have even been frosted (What??). They usually included nuts and dried fruits and copious amounts of liquor as a preservative. 

 This image is probably a bit optimistic since it includes a layer of frosting and maybe even a layer of fondant.

Remember: it's not like they had giant freezers to keep the cake in until the day of the event. Also, weddings were much smaller and usually only included immediate family and close friends, which eliminated the need for a ginormous cake. 

However, and this is important for the contest so pay attention, it was traditional for single women to take a piece of the cake home with them (and sometimes it was sent to distant relatives --- another good reason to have a sturdy confection) to place under their pillow with the promise that if they do so, they will dream of the man they will marry. 

To be entered in my drawing for a $5 Amazon gift card, please answer the following question in  the comments. Please leave your email address in the comments so that I will be able to contact you if you are the winner. A winner will be randomly selected from those who enter. 

Question: Select one of the single women who might have attended the marriage of Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy (Caroline Bingley, Mary Bennet, Kitty Bennet, Georgiana Darcy) and tell me the type of man you think they might marry. 

Alternate Question: If for some reason you are not familiar with Pride and Prejudice (you can get a FREE copy for your kindle from Amazon. ) then please share your favorite flavor of cake. Also include your email address to be included in the drawing. 

Confession: I'm planning to write a book on this very topic with the women taking home pieces of cake and dreaming about the men they will marry, so I'd love to hear your suggestions. 

For more fun and prizes, please be sure to visit all the participating blogs. 

Hop Participants
  1. Random Bits of Fascination (Maria Grace)
  2. Pillings Writing Corner (David Pilling)
  3. Anna Belfrage
  4. Debra Brown
  5. Lauren Gilbert
  6. Gillian Bagwell
  7. Julie K. Rose
  8. Donna Russo Morin
  9. Regina Jeffers
  10. Shauna Roberts
  11. Tinney S. Heath
  12. Grace Elliot
  13. Diane Scott Lewis
  14. Ginger Myrick
  15. Helen Hollick
  16. Heather Domin
  17. Margaret Skea
  18. Yves Fey
  19. JL Oakley
  20. Shannon Winslow
  21. Evangeline Holland
  22. Cora Lee
  23. Laura Purcell
  24. P. O. Dixon
  25. E.M. Powell
  26. Sharon Lathan
  27. Sally Smith O'Rourke
  28. Allison Bruning
  29. Violet Bedford
  30. Sue Millard
  31. Kim Rendfeld


  1. so enjoying the Banquet Blog Hop - the cake looks delicious!

    1. Thank you Helen. I'd like to say that I made it myself, but I'd be lying. :)

  2. Somehow I don't feel like thinking about Jane Austen today, so I'll just put in an enthusiastic vote for carrot cake! t2heath at sbcglobal dot net

    1. Great choice! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I haven't read Pride and Prejudice (but I intend to! I just have ended up reading other classics so far), but I can talk about cake alright :) I love cheesecakes and fruit cakes. Lime-cheesecake is probably the closest thing to heaven in my cake world :)


    1. Maybe asking people to talk about their favorite cake is a bad idea because now...that's all I can think about!

  4. Oh how fun! I would like to think Mary would carry home the prize of all like an African Naturalist/Explorer who teaches her to appreciate herself and then wows her with adventure.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

    1. Great idea! I do like thinking about finding just the right man for Mary and your suggestion is wonderful. She travels around the globe in luxury while her sisters are attending to broods of children!

  5. I always imagine Caroline married some lesser nobleman who was quite content to let her live in town while he did his own thing elsewhere, with her money. Isn't that awful? Isn't it even awfuler (I know that isn't a real word) that it makes me smile?

    My favorite cake would definitely be cheesecake of any kind! mmm

    monicaperry00 at gmail dot com

    1. Monica--you overachiever! You answered both questions. And you did so quite well, I might add.

      You raise such a great point. I really do want to write this book w/the stories of the other women and who they marry (or dream of marrying). It is tempting to give Caroline not such a great result. In fact, at one point I thought about having her wake up the next morning thinking "gee, I didn't dream about anything", but that's not much of a story.

      But I am a sucker for a happy ending. I wonder if she would have the dream, and then mend her ways...change her destiny?

      Some food for thought...

  6. Georgiana Darcy would be in attendance to Lizzie & Darcy's wedding. I can see her with a husband similar to her brother-he dotes on her!

    1. Good answer. She sure would look for someone just like her brother since she adores him...and he does treat her well.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Caroline Bingley......i would like someone she'll fall so madly in love with, that she doesn't realize that he is turning her into someone who becomes compassionate.......wouldn't that be a hoot?!?!?!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

    1. I think that's a great idea. As much as I find Caroline annoying, the more that I learn about the Regency Era and the restricted options available to women of her class, I am a bit more sympathetic and I would like to see her soften her hard edges a bit.

  8. I have a slight advantage, having written mates for each one of those ladies!

    Georgiana Darcy fell in love while in Paris, at the end of her Grand Tour studying music. His name was Sebastian Butler, Viscount Nell and future Earl of Essenton. Also an accomplished musician, they became fast friends and later married, thus living happily ever after creating beautiful music together!

    1. That sounds like a perfect mate for Georgiana. I can hardly envision her with someone who hunts and shoots, so a musician sounds just right for her.

  9. I think that Caroline Bingley would have been happiest if she had married someone who might be described as a doormat. Caroline was obviously very strong-willed and would have wanted to make all the decisions, so she would have done well with a man who would be willing to let her take charge and go along with whatever she wants.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Susan Heim
    smhparent [at] hotmail [dot] com

    1. She certainly does not give off the impression that she needs a man, that's for sure, or at least not an alpha.

      Good answer. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. I love a good "fruitcake" so I could tolerate the no frosting image. However, I admit to LOVING Red Velvet cake.

    I sent Caroline to America with a wealthy, but devious man in "Christmas at Pemberley."

    1. Red Velvet is an excellent choice!

      That sounds like a fun read, Regina. It's so much more fun to think about writing for a bad character than a good one, I think.

  11. I like fruitcake as well! I believe that Caroline Bingley would persist in dreaming of Mr. Darcy, just because...

    1. Well...I can hardly argue with the idea of a woman who continues to dream about Mr. Darcy. :)

  12. I'd go for Caroline Bingley and have a sneaky hppe that she'd dream of a dashing and seemingly wealthy soldier, but one who would turn out to be a rotter - I think she deserves a similar fate to Lydia Bennet!

    1. Caroline sure does bring out the strong opinions, doesn't she? I suppose it's because she was a pretty strong personality.

  13. PS I love fruit cake - it's my favourite, but don't like the icing, so i guess I'd be ok in the Austen era.

    1. As long as you were invited to lots of weddings! :)

  14. My favorite flavor of cake is German chocolate cake. I also love chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

    ShaunaRoberts [at} nasw [dot] org

  15. Caroline Bingley, I think she would marry someone uptight! :-)
    Also, my favorite flavor of cake is red velvet!
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway.
    kacidesigns AT yahoo DOT com


I love to hear from readers! Thanks for being part of the conversation.