Jaffa Cakes vs. Biscuits: The Great Debate

Jaffa Cakes vs. Biscuits: The Great Debate

The Jaffa Cake has been a topic of debate in the United Kingdom for over 20 years now. Is it a cake or a biscuit? The answer might seem simple, but it's actually a complex question that has divided people for decades.


Jaffa Cakes: The Great Debate - New English Teas

The Characteristics of Biscuits and Cakes

First, let's take a look at what defines a biscuit. Biscuits are typically sweet, small, and crispy. They are often eaten as a snack, and they can be made with a variety of ingredients, including flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. Biscuits are also usually flat and crunchy, and they can be stored for a long time.

On the other hand, cakes are larger, softer, and more delicate than biscuits. They are usually made with flour, sugar, eggs, and butter, and they are baked in an oven. Cakes can also be flavored with a variety of ingredients, such as fruit, chocolate, and nuts. Unlike biscuits, cakes are not usually crispy, and they are not usually stored for a long time.

What are Jaffa Cakes?

So, which category does the Jaffa Cake fit into? Jaffa Cakes are small, round, and flat. They are also sweet, and they are often eaten as a snack. However, Jaffa Cakes have a sponge-like texture, which is more like a cake than a biscuit. They are also baked in an oven, which is another characteristic of a cake.

Having Their Cake and Eating It?

In fact, the question of whether Jaffa Cakes are cakes or biscuits was put to the test in 1991. The UK tax authorities argued that Jaffa Cakes should be classified as biscuits, and therefore subject to VAT (value-added tax), while the manufacturer, McVitie's, argued that Jaffa Cakes were cakes and should be exempt from VAT. The case went to court, and after much debate, it was eventually ruled that Jaffa Cakes are cakes and therefore exempt from VAT.

The Verdict: Jaffa Cakes are Cakes

So, in conclusion, while the Jaffa Cake may share some characteristics with biscuits, such as being small and sweet, it is actually a cake. Its sponge-like texture and method of production put it firmly in the cake category. The question of whether the Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit may never be fully settled, but for now, we can safely say that it is indeed a cake.


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