The Royal Touch: Recipes Fit For a Queen (Literally) (2024)

Vivian Vassos | December 11th, 2021

The Royal Touch: Recipes Fit For a Queen (Literally) (1)

This chocolate biscuit dessert, pictured above, is what Prince William chose for his groom’s cake for his 2011 wedding. Photo: Anna Pustynnikova/Getty Images

Here, we round up some royally-inspired recipes, including afternoon tea-worthy scones with vanilla and orange zest and even the chocolate biscuit cake Prince William chose as his groom’s cake for his wedding.

For 10 years,Carolyn Robb was the personal chef to TRHthe Prince and Princess of Wales (that’sCharles and Diana to us mere mortals),Prince William and Prince Harry.

Robb’s cookbook The Royal Touch: SimplyStunning Home Cooking from a Royal Chef (2015),a collection of 100 recipes – includingafternoon tea-worthy Scones with Vanillaand Orange Zest and the Chocolate BiscuitCake Prince William chose as his groom’scake for his wedding (both recipes here) – and anecdotes andletters from her residency at KensingtonPalace.

“One of the abiding memories Ihave of the Queen’s garden parties that Iattended at Buckingham Palace is of the mountains of cream scones andcucumber sandwiches,” says Robb. “Forever more, scones will be synonymouswith garden parties for me.” And who doesn’t like a party?

The Royal Touch: Recipes Fit For a Queen (Literally) (2)

Recipe: Scones with Vanilla and Orange Zest

“This is my favourite recipe for scones, and my advice is to eat them fresh from the oven and never to stint on the cream and jam!”


A 4-cm (1½-inch) pastry cutter and 2 flat baking trays

450 g/1 lb plain flour (3¾ cup)

60 g/2 oz golden caster sugar (¼ cup)

2.5 ml/½ tsp salt

15 ml/3 tsp baking powder

100 g/3½ oz butter (7 tbsp)

175 ml/¾ cup buttermilk

50 ml/¼ cup milk

1 free-range egg (UK medium/USA large)

5 ml/1 tsp vanilla extract

Zest of 1 orange


Preheat the oven to 220ºC / 425ºF.

Sieve the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.

Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your finger tips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Blend together the buttermilk, milk, egg and vanilla extract.

Make a hollow in the centre of the ‘crumbs’, finely grate the orange zest into it and pour in most of the liquid. Add in the remainder later if the dough seems dry. Traditionally, a small round-bladed knife or palette knife is used to mix the dough. You want to achieve a lightly-bound dough that is neither sticky nor dry and crumbly.

Lift the ball of dough onto a floured surface and knead it just 3 or 4 times to get rid of any cracks, working quickly. If the dough is over-worked it will result in ‘tough’ scones.

Pat the dough out to a thickness of 2 cm (¾ inch). Cut out the scones, dipping the pastry cutter into flour each time, so that it makes a clean cut and does not drag the dough when cutting through it. Place scones onto the baking trays.

Gather the trimmings, lightly bring them together and pat the dough out again to cut out more scones.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until well risen and golden.

For fruit scones, add in 60 g (⅓ cup) sultanas or raisins at Step 5. For savoury scones, replace the vanilla, orange zest and sugar with 60 g (½ cup) of grated mature cheddar cheese and 15 ml (1 tbsp) finely chopped chives, added in at Step 5; top with a little extra cheese and a light dusting of paprika.

Makes approximately 15 scones

The Royal Touch: Recipes Fit For a Queen (Literally) (3)

Recipe: Chocolate Biscuit Cake

“My mother used to make this when I was a child, and it was a great favourite of mine. When Prince William and Prince Harry were very young, I made it for them using the same recipe. It was a firm favourite in the royal nursery; so much so that, many years later, Prince William chose to have chocolate biscuit cake at his wedding for the groom’s cake. It was designed, made and gifted to Prince William by McVitie’s biscuit manufacturers and is said to have been made from 1,700 biscuits and 17 kg of chocolate!

“This recipe is very simple, and children always enjoy crushing and crumbling the biscuits (in a variety of unusual, and often messy, ways!) I have included pistachios and soft figs in this version of the recipe, but for children I leave them out and replace them with the same weight in biscuits.”


One 20-cm (8-inch) round or square cake tin or flan ring or a 450 g/1 lb loaf tin, approximately 16 x 11 cm, 7 cm deep (6¼ x 4¼ inches, 2¾ inches deep)


340 g/12 oz butter (3 sticks)

240 g/8½ oz golden syrup (¾ cup)

60 g/2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder (⅔ cup)

120 g/4 oz cup dark chocolate (⅔ cup)

5 ml/1 tsp pure vanilla extract

60 g/2 oz pistachios (½ cup)

100 g/3½ oz soft, plump dried figs, sliced (½ cup packed)

450 g/1 lb digestive biscuits, crushed


300 g/11 oz dark chocolate (2 cups)

50 g/2 oz white chocolate (⅔ cup)

Selection of small chocolate sticks and dark and white Maltesers or Whoppers


Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a heavy based pan. Do not let it boil.

Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder, dark chocolate and vanilla extract.

Stir until you have a very smooth, glossy mixture.

Add the pistachios, figs and crushed biscuits to the chocolate mixture and stir well.

Line the base and sides of the cake tin with baking parchment or plastic wrap.

Place the mixture into the tin and press it down. (If you are using a square tin, make sure you press it down well into the corners.)

Leave to cool at room temperature before covering and chilling in the fridge. It will take about 2 hours to set completely firm.

When set, remove from the tin and place it on a cooling rack.

Melt the dark chocolate and white chocolate separately.

Spread the dark chocolate all over the cake.

Decorate with the Maltesers before the chocolate sets, so that they stick to the cake. Position chocolate sticks as desired and drizzle with the white chocolate.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Keeps for up 2 weeks, although it seldom lasts that long, once people know that it is there!

Serves 16 – 20


You can replace the pistachios with pecans, toasted almonds or macadamia nuts.

You can replace the figs with raisins, sultanas or dried cherries.

For a festive holiday treat, use glacé cherries and dried apricots that have been soaked in cherry brandy.

For a children’s party cake, decorate with Smarties or M&M’s.

A version of this story was originally published on April 13, 2018


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The Royal Touch: Recipes Fit For a Queen (Literally) (2024)


What was Queen Elizabeth's favorite dessert? ›

Posted on (Read original article here.) “This chocolate biscuit cake is Her Royal Majesty the Queen's favorite afternoon tea cake by far,” chef Darren McGrady, The Royal Chef and former personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II, told TODAY Food.

What did the queen eat for dessert? ›

Queen Elizabeth's poison of choice turned out to be... Chocolate biscuit cake!

What was Queen Elizabeth's favorite meal? ›

Queen Elizabeth adhered to a daily teatime meal; her preference for delicate sandwiches with the crusts cut off was well-publicized. Her favorite version was reported to be smoked salmon with cream cheese. If the old adage is true, one should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper.

What cake did the Queen eat every day? ›

chocolate biscuit cake from the British royal kitchen

Chocolate biscuit cake is Queen Elizabeth's favorite cake ~ she would take a small slice every day with her tea, until the cake was finished, and then she'd start on a fresh one!

What is Princess Kate's favorite dessert? ›

duch*ess Kate may have a flair for fashion, but she's also more than au fait with the most classic of British desserts; the sticky toffee pudding. A common feature on many pub menus, this dessert is Kate's favorite sweet.

What did the Queen eat every afternoon? ›

Then, in the late afternoon, McGrady says, the Queen will have an afternoon tea. (The Queen always has scones with jam and clotted cream - and she puts jam on first). He explained: “She'd always have afternoon tea wherever she was in the world. We'd flown out to Australia and were on the Royal Yacht.

Did the Queen eat chocolate everyday? ›

Queen Elizabeth II is known to be a "chocoholic" and it's no surprise that she indulges in chocolate snacks throughout the day. According to a former royal chef, the Queen enjoys four small meals a day and starts each day with a cup of earl grey tea and biscuits.

What cookies did Queen Elizabeth eat? ›

These Buckingham Palace Shortbread Cookies are rich, tender, and buttery. They were among the late Queen Elizabeth's favorite sweets for her afternoon tea. This recipe is from the Buckingham Palance Pastry Chef, John Higgins.

What is Queen Elizabeth's Favourite snack? ›

It's just a jam sandwich — bread, a bit of butter, and jam, cut into small circles (or similar shapes) for serving. These simple treats were a lifetime favorite of the queen's, with Chef McGrady stating that she enjoyed one every single day since she was five years old.

What was the Queen's favourite pudding? ›

He added: "Probably one of the most popular puddings served at the state banquet was a Bombe Glacée. And I say 'pudding' because, in the royal family, anything that is served after the entre that's sweet is a pudding." Another of the monarch's favourites is a pud called lemon posset.

What was Queen Elizabeth's least favorite food? ›

Starches topped the queen's list of no-no foods. Ever the trendsetter, apparently, the queen was all about the keto diet before it was fashionable. Darren McGrady told The Telegraph that Queen Elizabeth shunned all forms of carbohydrates from royal meals, including starches like potatoes, pasta, and rice.

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