The Scripture Cake, a simple spice cake with raisins and figs, was a fixture of mid-70s church cookbooks. The recipe itself was not particularly amazing; the novelty lies in having to crack open the Good Book to decipher the ingredients. Instead of a list of ingredients there are cryptic references to Bible verses. For example, “one cup of Nahum 3:12” draws the reader to the following passage:
All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater. (Nahum 3:12, King James Version)
The reader infers that the desired ingredient is “figs” and proceeds through the rest of the recipe. An awful lot of work for a spiced fruitcake.
There’s also the reality that America is decidedly less Christian than it was a generation ago, with a concomitant decrease in Biblical literacy. And so, for those outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition or without any religious inclination, I present the Shakespeare cake. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare are available in the public domain, and enumerated line by line for quick reference. If tedious fetch quests are your idea of a good recipe, the Shakespeare Cake is for you. Enjoy!
Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers
Romeo and Juliet [IV, 2, line 2501]
- 2 cups Henry IV, Part I [II, iv line 1043]
- 1 cup Henry IV, Part I [I, ii, line 1500]
- 3 As You Like It [II, v, line 831]
- 2 tbsp Hamlet [III, i, line 1847]
- 1/2 cup Midsummer Night's Dream [V, i, line 2183]
- pinch Antony and Cleopatra [II, v, line 1069]]
- 4 1/2 cups Coriolanus [I, i, line 144]
- 4 tsp Troilus and Cressida [I, i, line 52]
- 1 cup Winter's Tale [IV, iii, line 1774]
- 1 cup Antony and Cleopatra [I, ii, line 111]
- 1 tsp Love's Labour Lost [V, ii, line 2589]
- 1/4 tsp Henry V [III, vii, line 1659]
- Merchant of Venice [I, i, line 35] (additional, as desired)
- Cream the Henry IV, Part I [II, iv line 1043] and the Henry IV, Part I [I, ii, line 1500]. Add the beaten As You Like It [II, v, line 831], Hamlet [III, i, line 1847], and Midsummer Night's Dream [V, i, line 2183].
- Sift together dry ingredients and add to this mixture.
- Fold in remaining ingredients, and add to a greased baking dish or Bundt pan. Bake 45 minutes at 350 F or until a toothpick inserted in the center is clean.