Huzzah! Happy Twelfth Night!
I love celebrating Twelfth Night for so many reasons. To start, I’m an English nerd and anything Shakespearean tickles my fancy. It also gives me something to look forward to after Christmas and bringing in the New Year. Lastly, if you haven’t checked out my About page (Behind the Quill), I explain how my blog’s namesake connects to Shakespeare’s play of the same name. So, it goes without saying that this is an obligatory holiday for Twelfth Light to celebrate, right?!?!
There is so much history involved with this holiday, but I’ll focus my post on the Twelfth Night Cake, also known as the King’s Cake.
Here’s a little background knowledge for my history-seekers out there:
“The Twelfth Night Cake is an often-ornate confection into which a bean, a coin or a tiny carved or cast metal version of the Baby Jesus was placed. During early evening ceremonies, the cake was cut and its pieces distributed to guests who were advised to chew carefully. The person who found the icon then became the king or queen of Twelfth Night. By the late 18th century in England and America, the selection of Twelfth Night’s “royalty” was also alternately accomplished by the distribution of paper slips with each piece of cake. The slips were opened and the person holding the one with a special mark inside was declared king.
Some believe this paper ballot tradition was instituted as a matter of safety to prevent often-inebriated and distracted guests from inadvertently choking to death on hard beans, coins or a cast metal Jesus hidden in wads of cake” (Levins).
Twelfth Night CUPcakes!
I wanted to bring Twelfth Night into this century, so I created a Twelfth Night CUPcake contest at my school for my colleagues. I just didn’t have time to make my own cupcakes like I wanted to originally, but the bakery ones were oh-so-yummy and my friends didn’t seem to mind. 🙂
I added quotes to the cupcakes from Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night like this:
The reason for the odd, double-cupcake liner was to find the winner of Twelfth Night! I didn’t want my friends to choke on something in the cupcakes, so I did this, instead:
I hope everyone at school had fun playing along today! Congratulations to one of our secretaries, Deb, for being crowned the Queen of Twelfth Night. Along with bragging rights, she won a $15.00 Starbucks gift card. Hopefully Deb can find something at Starbucks that’s as sweet as she is.
To wash down all that cake, I’d suggest a traditional Wassail beverage (the name comes from the old English term “Waes hael” meaning “be well”). Here’s a lovely recipe from Cookie + Kate!
Happy Twelfth Night!
The winning cupcake quote?? 😉
“Fate, show thy force. Ourselves we do not owe /
What is decreed must be; and be this so.”