Old Fashioned Scripture Cake Recipes

Old Fashioned scripture cake recipes all share similarities, yet each tends to be a little different. If you enjoy baking cakes from scratch and solving puzzles, you'll enjoy making them.

Back when these cake recipes were invented, women's church groups prided themselves on being able to make the cake without referring to their Bibles. Yet aside from their novelty, these are delicious fruitcakes in their own right.

Old Time Novelty Cakes

Fruitcake Made from Old Fashioned Scripture Cake RecipeOld Fashioned Scripture Cake Fresh From the Oven
(Source: ©springfield/Depositphotos.com)

Enjoy a novelty cake baking game from the Victorian Era. Get out your Bible and try to solve these old fashioned Scripture Cake recipes.

Look up The Old Testament references, but try not to look at the list of ingredients. Instead, try to discern the ingredients needed from reading the verses.

See how well you can solve the baking puzzle and bake a delicious cake that will delight your family and friends. Don't be fooled, these old time novelty cakes are genuine fruitcakes and taste quite delicious.

Old Fashioned Scripture Cake Recipe

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

The Scripture Cake Recipes Call for Ingredients Based on Bible VersesOld Testament Scripture Cake Verses

Mom made this fruitcake for us once and if I remember correctly, it tasted really good, but then, I love fruitcake of any kind.

Scripture Cake

4-1/2 cups cake flour; I Kings IV, 22
1 cup butter; Judges V, 25
2 cups sugar; Jeremiah VI, 20
2 cups raisins; I Samuel XXX, 12
2 cups figs; Nahum III, 12
2 cups almonds; Numbers XVII, 8
1/2 cup sour milk; Judges IV, 19
3 tablespoonfuls honey; I Samuel XIV, 25
Pinch of salt; Leviticus II, 13
6 eggs; Jeremiah XVII, 11
2 teaspoonfuls soda; Amos IV, 5
Season with spices to taste; II Chronicles IX, 9

Follow Solomon's prescription for making a good boy (Proverbs III, 12), and you will have a good cake. Bake in slow oven.

Old Time Scripture Cake Recipe

Grandma McIlmoyle's Handwritten Recipe Books (c. 1912)

You will need to study the Bible passages to solve this baking puzzle as there are no ingredients or quantities listed. Don't worry, I've added the biblical references below, and a recipe solution.

Bible Cake Puzzle

Judges V, 25
Jeremiah VI, 20
Isaiah X, 14
I Samuel XXX, 12
Genesis XLIII, 11
Exodus XVI, 31
Genesis XXIV, 17
I Kings IV, 22
Leviticus II, 13
Amos IV, 5
I Kings X, 10

Follow Solomon's advice for making good boys (Proverbs XXIII, 13), and you will have a good cake.

Blend all ingredients and beat well by hand. Pour into a buttered and lightly floured baking pan. Bake at a medium temperature for about three hours and allow to stand for 24 hours for the maximum flavor.

Bible Cake References

Try to identify the ingredients needed in the old fashioned Scripture Cake recipe above. There are no quantities given as this was simply meant as a memory game to test one's Bible knowledge and cake baking skills.

Give up? Below are the Old Testament (KJV) verses that match the ingredients:

Judges V, 25

He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.

Jeremiah VI, 20

To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.

Isaiah X, 14

And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.

I Samuel XXX, 12

And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights.

Genesis XLIII, 11

And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds.

Exodus XVI, 31

And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

Genesis XXIV, 17

And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.

I Kings IV, 22

And Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal...

Leviticus II, 13

And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

Amos IV, 5

And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God.

I Kings X, 10

And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.

Bible Cake Solution

Give up? Here's the solution to the old fashioned Scripture cake recipe with all the ingredients and the directions for baking this delicious novelty cake.


1 cup butter
3 cups brown sugar
6 eggs
1/4 cup honey
3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace
1/8 teaspoon allspice
2 cups raisins
2 cups figs
1 cup almonds
3/4 cup water


Heat oven to 325°F and have a greased 10-inch tube pan with a solid bottom at the ready.

Cream butter. Add sugar and blend well. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each. Beat in honey.

Combine whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and desired spices in a bowl.

Mix raisins, figs, and almonds in another bowl. Add some of the flour mixture to the fruit and nuts and mix with hands until fruit is coated with flour.

Add fruit mixture to butter-egg mixture and beat well. Add remaining flour mixture and water alternately, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake about 2 hours or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Turn out of pan onto rack to cool.

If top of cake begins to brown too much while baking, cover it loosely with aluminum foil. The fruit laden cake might fall a little just before it's fully baked, but its good taste and texture are unaffected.

Old Fashioned Scripture Cake Recipe

My Pet Recipes Tried and True (1900)

Scripture Cake

One cup butter; Judges V, 25
Four cups flour; I Kings IV, 22
Three cups sugar; Jeremiah VI, 20
Two cups raisins; I Samuel XXX, 12
Two cups figs; I Samuel XXX, 12
One cup water; Genesis XXIV, 17
One cup almonds; Jeremiah I, 11
Six eggs; Isaiah X, 14
One tablespoon honey; Exodus XVI, 31
One teaspoon cream; Job XXIX, 6
Baking powder, 3 teaspoons, and a pinch of salt; Job VI, 6
Spices to taste; I Kings X, 10

Follow Solomon's advice for making good boys and you will have a good cake; Proverbs XXIII, 13. —Contributed by Mrs. Stocking

Caramel Syrup Sauce for Scripture Cake Recipes

Key To The Pantry (1897)

A caramelized dessert sauce designed to turn your Scripture Cake into a delicious cake pudding.

Burnt Jeremiah Syrup Recipe

In a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, melt sugar, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After sugar melts, continue cooking, stirring continuously, until it is a deep golden brown. Add water and cook, stirring frequently, until smooth.

Remove from the heat, add butter, and stir till it melts; allow to cool. Drizzle over cooled Scripture cake and garnish with whole almonds.

Why It's Called Burnt Jeremiah Syrup

"And if I say, I will not make mention of him nor speak any more in his name, then there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with forbearing, and I cannot contain" (Jeremiah 20:9).

About the Old Fashioned Scripture Cake Recipes

This type of novelty cake recipe was very much in fashion at women's sewing bees and home Bible study groups in the 1830s to 1860s, and to a lesser extent up until the 1930s.

Most old fashioned Scripture Cake recipes first appeared in the early nineteenth century, but some might have originated at an even earlier time. They are essentially fruitcakes.

They were presented as a fun cake baking game which tested the participants' knowledge of the Bible and their cooking abilities, and to prevent the gathering from indulging in idle tittle-tattle, though their success in preventing the latter is up for debate.

Once the cake had been baked, the children who were present carefully passed cake slices to the guests.

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