Queen cakes are a very early form of cup cake! So for all you cup cake enthusiasts out there who happen to like history, this recipe is very similar to one dating back to the 1600s. According to the Researching Food History blog, various royal chefs wrote cookbooks, with names like The Queen’s Royal Cookery and The Queen’s Closet Opened and often included recipes named for certain people, including the Queen. These little pound cakes are made in what we now call muffin tins, but at the time were called patty pans (and in some parts of the world this term in still in use). You can also bake them in crockery, cups, and small bowls that can withstand the heat of the oven. I found several years ago those cute little tins you might make madelines or a little tart in, at an upscale cooking shop, and now I know just what I will be making in them! Early Queen cakes could be iced in the method which baked the icing onto the cake, much like Martha Washington’s Great Cake, meaning, the icing was spread all over the cake, then the cake returned to the oven at a low heat and essentially dried onto the cake. The icing could be flavored with orange water or rose water, something our modern palate might not appreciate. I expect I’d use a simple vanilla icing.
1/4 lb sugar, 1/4 lb butter, 1/4 lb flour, 1/4 lb currants, 5 eggs, a pinch salt. Put the sugar & butter into a basin & with your right hand work it to a cream. Then add the flour & the yolk, mix carefully one way, add the rest of the yolks, beat lightly again. Beat the whites to a very stiff froth. Mix them lightly in. Clean the currants, drop them in, mix round once. Grease some patty-pans, put a little of the mixture into them. Bake in a moderate oven for about 20 min. A little flavouring of any sort may be added.