In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which is the first book in The Chronicles of Narnia, Lucy meets a faun in the woods. This faun, named Mr. Tumnus, invites Lucy to come have tea with him. This is possibly one of the most iconic scenes in the book, and it’s no doubt why. The combination of the beautiful snowy scene with the meeting of a magical creature is the stuff of fantasy.
C.S. Lewis goes into great detail describing the contents of the table at that tea, and among them is a “sugar-topped cake.” There have been many interpretations of this cake on different blogs and cookbooks, and each author has their own idea as to how that cake might have looked and tasted.
In the Official Narnia Cookbook, the cake is described as one with bits of dried fruit inside. I thought that sounded gross, as I’m not a huge fan of dried fruits in baked goods. The recipe also says that the cake is topped with a sugar icing, and not just sugar on its own. The icing seemed too fussy for me for an everyday sort of tea like this one, though.
Taking these things into consideration, I decided to make a crumb coffee cake dusted with powdered sugar. I know this is pretty inauthentic but, it’s my blog and I’ll cook what I want to! 😉 Plus, this coffee cake was yummy.
I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart.
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 6 Tbsp. butter, melted
- powdered sugar
- Mix together the egg, milk and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Sift 1 1/2 cups of the flour together with the sugar, baking powder and salt on top of the wet mixture.
- Stir the wet and dry ingredients together.
- Pour the batter into a well-greased square or round dish.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining 1 1/4 cup flour.
- Pour the melted butter over the brown sugar mixture, and toss until it forms a crumb texture.
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the batter in the baking dish.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until done in the center.
- Once cool, dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.
Serve up this cake as part of an afternoon tea party, just like the one Mr. Tumnus threw for Lucy.
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