Visiting National Trust properties is not only enjoyable because of their beauty and history, but also because most of them have excellent tearooms. Some are quite unique – for example housed in old stables, like the tearooms at Osterley House not far from where I live – and others may be located within the house itself or in an outbuilding on the property. All are worth a visit for their welcoming atmosphere and delicious food, but it is their reputation for yummy cakes that draws people to a National Trust tearoom.
When talking about the popularity of National Trust tearoom cakes, the proof is in the pudding. Collectively, over half a million slices of it are served every year – together with 22,000 cups of tea and 15,000 scones!
You will always find a plentiful variety of lovely cakes on offer at a National Trust tearoom, and here is a list of their most popular ones:
The 5 Most Popular National Trust Tearoom Cakes
#5 Lemon Drizzle Cake – 52,000 slices served per year
A French recipe from the 1930s, Lemon Drizzle Cake is a long-standing teatime favourite that, traditionally, contains a wee bit of rum. I love this Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe from The Tea Rooms in London.
#4 Carrot Cake – 96,000 slices served per year
Carrots have been used in cakes since medieval times, when sweeteners were expensive and scarce; they contain more sugar than any other vegetable besides the sugar beet. During World War II, Carrot Cake became immensely popular in England due to sugar rationing. Here’s an article from The Guardian on how to cook perfect carrot cake.
#3 Coffee & Walnut Cake – 102,000 slices served per year
Ancient Romans considered walnut the fruit of the gods, possibly for its promise of virility. Compared to certain other nuts, such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, walnuts contain the highest total level of antioxidants. Nigella Lawson’s Coffee and Walnut Cake recipe sounds (and looks) scrumptious.
#2 Chocolate Sponge Cake – 108,000 slices served per year
This recipe goes back to 1764 when Dr. James Baker ground cocoa beans between a millstone to create baking chocolate. If you are American, you are no doubt familiar with Baker’s Chocolate.
#1 Victoria Sandwich – 171,000 slices served per year
The quintessentially English of all English cakes, the Victoria Sandwich was named for Queen Victoria. Apparently, it was her favourite cake, and it’s my favourite as well. This is usually the one I choose when visiting a National Trust tearoom. The Victoria Sandwich is a sponge cake, and is sometimes also referred to as a Victoria Sponge. It is a tearoom classic, and quite easy to make. I had rather good success with this Victoria Sandwich recipe from Betty magazine.
What about you?
Are any of these 5 cakes a favourite of yours? What other cake recipes are you fond of?