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History Cookbook: Honey, Oat and Spiced Cakes

This recipe is in categories Saxons & Vikings, Party food
About this recipe
Healthiness : (978 votes)
Difficulty:  3 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: Take care when using the oven.

These cakes can be quite hard to make as they are quite crumbly and you may need to adjust the amounts of ingredients used.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 12-15 minutes
Number of servings: 12 cakes

The Anglo Saxons were farmers, but they traded too and a well off farmer might have used spices on special occasions. Don’t go mad with them! They would have been terribly expensive and very precious.

Cinnamon, used here, has been known from remote antiquity, and it was highly prized amongst ancient nations. It is native to India and was imported to Egypt from China as early as 2000 BC. Up to the Middle Ages, the source of cinnamon was a mystery to the Western world. Its origin was possibly kept secret, so the traders could ensure a monopoly.

It came into Europe through East Africa or Egypt and, until the late 14th century, it was thought that giant Cinnamon birds collected the cinnamon sticks from an unknown land where the cinnamon trees grew, and used them to construct their nests, from which the traders obtained them.

When cooked, these cakes are a little like a crumbly flapjack. (With thanks to West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village for providing this recipe.)
  • 250g oats (use Scottish porridge oats)
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 50g chopped dried apricots or dried apples
  • 4 large tablespoons runny honey
  • 1 level teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Weighing scales
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Baking sheet
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. In a large saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter and remove from the heat
  3. Stir in the oats, dried fruit and honey until well mixed
  4. Spoon dollops of the mixture onto a well greased baking sheet and flatten slightly
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden
  6. Gently lift cakes onto a wire rack and leave to cool
Honey, Oat and Spiced Cakes - print view  Honey, Oat and Spiced Cakes - print view

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Name: Carole Schubert 1st July 2018
Not sure of the historical accuracy of this recipe particularly with the suggestion of apricots which are not used within European food until after 1500. Apricots are referred to as medicinal purgative from 1300.
Name: Katie 18th March 2018
I love them,so yummy
Name: Shitheed 7th March 2018
WOW! i made these for my class, made 1 everyone had to share, everyone got diarrhoea. oops.
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