A special rich cake made for the festivities of Twelfth Night, which is the twelfth day after Christmas, or the Epiphany. According to Brewster, this cake is a relic of the Roman saturnalia. At the close of the festival the Roman children drew lots with beans to see who would be king. This cake is now made of richest mixture, dark in colour and close in texture. The recipe varies, but it is proper to mix as much fruit – currants, sultanas, peel and almonds as the mixture will carry. It is spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. As a rule it is made of the same mixture as rich wedding cake.
From The Baker’s ABC by John Kirkland, formerly Head Teacher of National School of Baking, published 1927 by Gresham