Here is a cake recipe found on the UK Facebook Page – the “Unofficial” site. A social media site very much worth a look if you’d like to watch and learn from over 220,000 inspiring women.

Her Majesty  cuts the cake.
Her Majesty cuts the cake.


As published in WI Life, Good Food Magazine and WI Cookbook

225g (8oz) butter, slightly softened
225g (8oz) soft dark brown sugar
4 large free-range eggs
175g (6oz) plain flour55g (2oz) self-raising flour
80g (3oz) ground almonds
80g (3oz) glace cherries, cut into quarters
400g (14oz) currants, small pinhead
170g (6oz) sultanas
55g (2oz) mixed cut peel
½ tbsp marmalade
A wineglass of rum

1. Line a 20cm square tin with a double layer of non-stick baking parchment
2. Make a collar of folded newspaper for the outside of the tin, plus a thick piece of newspaper for the cake to sit on
3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
4. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the flours and ground almonds
5. Fold in the fruits, followed by the marmalade and the rum. Make sure all ingredients are well mixed
6. Transfer to cake tin and smooth the top
7. Bake the cake at 160°C /fan oven 140°C gas mark 3
8. Turn down the heat after ½ – ¾ hour to 150°C/fan oven 130°C/gas mark 2 and bake until cooked – anywhere between 2-3 ½ hours
9. Use your common sense and turn down the oven as necessary if the cake is getting too brown

Anne Harrison, SWNS WI
Anne Harrison, SWNS WI
Patricia Tulip, one of the cake bakers.
Patricia Tulip, one of the cake bakers.

The cakes’ creation has been a military exercise for retired home economics teachers, Anne Harrison, 72, a dairy farmer’s wife from Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, and Pat Tulip, 75, from Bilton, Northumberland.

They spent 11 full days last month baking 44 12 x 12in cakes 3.5in deep between them. Divided up, this provides enough cake for the 5,000 members.

Miss Tulip said: ‘We’ve been very careful with costing. We used cheap flour and bought eggs in bulk. If we hadn’t had some donations, it would have cost about £1,100.’

The pair followed a recipe chosen following a competition for the WI’s 200,000-plus members won by Julie Clarke, 66, from Coverdale, North Yorkshire, who is chairman of the WI’s North Yorks West Federation.

As you can imagine, an undertaking of this magnitude was not without headaches. You can read more about that here, from the Daily Mail.


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About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

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