The Twelve Cakes of Christmas : An evolutionary history, with recipes

Author(s): Helen Leach, Mary Browne, Raelene Inglis

Cooking, Food & Wine

Includes 12 historic Christmas cake recipes for today’s cooks.

The many and varied Christmas cakes we enjoy today have a lineage that stretches back to at least the twelfth century. This wonderful book traces their history, with a special focus on the twentieth century.


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Helen Leach is an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Otago. Her research interests include the evolution of human diet and prehistoric horticulture. Her book, The Pavlova Story, was shortlisted in the Montana NZ Book Awards 2009.

Mary Browne is a leading food writer who updated and photographed twelve classic pavlova recipes for The Pavlova Story.

Raelene Inglis is a researcher in food history. Her earlier investigations into Christmas cakes with Helen created the database from which this book has grown.

Introduction; In Search of the 17th Century Twelfth Cake -- Sir Kenelm Digby's Recipe; 18th Century Twelfth Cakes - Hannah Glasse's Recipe; From Twelfth Cake to Christmas Cake - Isabella Beeton's Recipe; Christmas Cakes in the 20th Century: Facts & Figures; Christmas Cakes from the Last Hundred Years -- Nine Historic Cake Recipes with Photographs; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

General Fields

  • : 9781877578199
  • : University of Otago Press
  • : University of Otago Press
  • : December 2011
  • : New Zealand
  • : December 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Helen Leach, Mary Browne, Raelene Inglis
  • : Hardback
  • : 1st Edition
  • : 641.8653
  • : 192
  • : Colour and black and white illustrations