Bilbo’s Sponge Cake – A Lord of the Rings Recipe

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“We’re all right! I’ve just found some sponge cake.”

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Bilbos Sponge Cake - A Lord of the Rings Recipe

I’ve watched The Fellowship of the Ring so many times I’ve lost count. I can practically recite the whole thing beginning to end, but something magical happened when I watched it for the first time with my “foodie glasses.” I decided to turn on the subtitles just to make sure I didn’t miss any food references, and boy am I glad I did!

When Gandalf arrives at Bag End in the beginning of the movie, Bilbo bustles off to gather food for tea time. While Gandalf looks around the house at the maps and different things, Bilbo is in the background muttering about what to fix for Gandalf. Out of the dozens and dozens of times I’ve watched this movie, I’ve not paid any attention to what Bilbo is actually saying because it’s so muffled and not the focus of the scene. But with the subtitles on, I was able to see all the good food Bilbo is muttering about.

Most of the food is the same as what’s listed in The Hobbit book during the “Unexpected Party,” such as chicken and pickles and apple tart. But then, Bilbo speaks the little line quoted at the top of this post. Sponge cake! I thought that sounded lovely, so I set out to recreate what I thought the sponge cake Bilbo found would have been like, since we never actually see it on screen.

Lord of the Rings Sponge Cake

I researched English sponge cake (since the food in Middle Earth is so close to English food…I wonder why! šŸ˜‰ ) and found all sorts of recipes for Victoria sponge cake. This is a traditional tea-time English sponge cake that became popular in Victorian times, hence the name. The cake always has jam sandwiched in the middle, and more recently it usually also has whipped cream inside, though that part is optional.

I adapted this “Victoria sandwich” recipe, and the resulting cake was so scrumptious, I could hardly believe it. So, do yourself a favor and serve Bilbo’s sponge cake at your next tea party.

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Bilbo's Sponge Cake - A Lord of the Rings Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup strawberry jam
  • 1 cup whipped cream optional
  • extra powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Mix together the eggs, powdered sugar, flour, butter, salt, and baking powder until smooth.

  2. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan well, and distribute the cake batter dough evenly in the pan.

  3. Bake the cake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

  4. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.

  5. When the cake is completely cool, use a serrated knife to slice the cake in half horizontally.

  6. Take the top layer off of the cake, and spread the jam evenly across the bottom layer.

  7. Distribute the whipped cream evenly across the jam, and replace the top layer of the cake, sandwiching the jam and whipped cream in the middle.

  8. Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar before serving. I like to use a powdered sugar shaker to make it quick and easy.

Recipe Notes

Once again, the whipped cream is optional, but I think it adds something special to the cake.

Good food is meant to be shared!

Bilbo’s Birthday Cupcakes – A Lord of the Rings Recipe

Bilbo's Birthday Cupcakes Recipe

It has been remarked by some that hobbits’ only real passion is for food—a rather unfair observation, as we have also developed a keen interest in the brewing of ales and the smoking of pipe weed.

-The Fellowship of the Ring-

There are few movies that I like equally as well as the books from which they were adapted. The Lord of the Rings fits nicely into that category, though. I adore these movies just as much as the books, and I think it’s because they capture the spirit of the books so well.

One of my favorite scenes in The Fellowship of the Ring is the chapter titled, “Concerning Hobbits.” This scene makes me feel all warm and snuggly. The Shire is one of my favorite lands in Middle Earth, and I’ve given a lot of thought as to why that is. I think I love the concept that beauty and contentment can be found in a simple life. I feel like I can identify a lot with hobbits. “Where our hearts truly lie is in peace and quiet.” There’s nothing I like more than getting cozy in the peace and quiet of my own home with a select few close friends and family. But, I do love a good adventure once in a while to shake things up, which is probably why Bilbo Baggins is one of my very favorite literary characters of all time. He’s a got an adventurous side that’s tempered a bit by his introversion. Just like me!

In the “Concerning Hobbits” scene, we see the hobbits setting up for Bilbo’s birthday party. Among these preparations, a hobbit snatches a cupcake off a tray being carried to the party. I wanted to recreate these cupcakes as an ode to one of my favorite scenes in The Lord of the Rings.

Now, I have a confession to make: I am terrible at making cakes from scratch. I mean, absolutely terrible. This is something I’m working on, but I’m still not confident enough in making cakes to provide you with an elaborate cake recipe here on this blog. I usually just stick with boxed cake mixes, so for this recipe I’ll just say to use either a boxed yellow cake mix or your favorite yellow cake recipe.

On the other hand, IĀ loveĀ making frosting from scratch, so you’ll find my favorite chocolate frosting recipe below. Combine the yellow cupcakes with this frosting and some rainbow sprinkles, and you’ve got cupcakes fit for any eleventy-first birthday party.

Bilbo's Birthday Cupcakes - A Lord of the Rings Recipe

Bilbo’s Birthday Cupcakes – A Lord of the Rings Recipe

Ingredients

  • Yellow cupcakes
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Rainbow sprinkles

Directions

  1. Combine the butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla.
  3. Pour in the milk one Tbsp. at a time until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. You may not need it all.
  4. Frost the yellow cupcakes with the chocolate frosting.
  5. Sprinkle the rainbow sprinkles generously on top of the frosting.
Good food is meant to be shared!