Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to Jane Austen: Soiree & Giveaway

Happy Birthday to the amazing Jane Austen!  

Along with many other Jane Austen fans, bloggers, and authors, we want to take a moment to offer a gift in celebration of Jane Austen's Birthday.  One of the things I thought would be interesting to share a bit about today was the food that Austen would have been eating in her day.  What might have been shared around the table in celebration of her birthday?  Other than customary roasts of beef, chicken, partridge, lamb, etc., we would find lovely breads, marmalade, and soups.  What about the birthday cake?

Although the birthday cake as we know it today probably did not really gain popularity until near the end of Austen's life or just after, cakes and puddings in celebration of special occasions have existed since the Ancient Romans.  In that case, what kind of cakes existed in Jane Austen's day?  According to "The Jane Austen Centre," she might have enjoyed a Pound or Gingercake, a Boiled Pudding or Fruit Trifle, or even pie or cookie.  Regardless of the exact treat, I thought I'd share a couple of the recipe links here for you to check out and maybe try out over the holidays this year.

Here are a few:

Christmas Fruit Cake
Christmas Pudding
Just a Trifle
Gingerbread Cakes
Rich Pound Cake

Although fruit and nuts might have been more along the line of what they would have served for dessert, these delicious sweet treats were around in Austen's day and might have graced her table on her birthday, at some point. 

In celebration of Jane Austen's birthday, a number of us are going to be offering up wonderful treats and giveaways of our own. 

For the Giveaway:  I have a number of Austen-themed books that include:  The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy, Prom and Prejudice, and more!  I'd like to share these books in a nice grab bag to one person in the U.S. or Canada.  All you have to do is leave a comment, along with your name and email address where you can be reached.  The giveaway will close on December 23rd at midnight.

For other great posts and giveaways, please visit the following blogs and sites:

Sharon Lathan (Austen Author)
O! Beauty Unattempted!
Semi-True Stories
First Draft  (Cindy S. Jones, Austen Author)
Regency Sketches
Brant Flakes
Mesmered's Blog
The Heroine's Bookshelf
vvb32 reads
The Fiction vs. Reality Smackdown
Regina Jeffers (Austen Author)
Alyssa Goodnight
Jane Austen in Vermont
Jane Started It!
Choc Lit Authors' Corner
Reading, Writing, Working, Playing
The Jane Austen Film Club
El Salon de Te de Jane
Kaitlin Saunders  (Austen Author)
Patrice Sarath  (Austen Author)
Jane Austen Brasil
Jane Austen Sequels (Jane Odiwe, Austen Author)
Stiletto Storytime
Jennifer W. Becton
Urban Girl Takes Vermont
Pemberley Variations  (Abigail Reynolds, Austen Author)
Austen Authors
November's Autumn
My Jane Austen Book Club

Check them out!  There are amazing giveaways going on in celebration of Austen's birthday today. 

Thanks to Maria Grazia, of My Jane Austen Book Club, & Katherine Cox, of November's Autumn for hosting and putting together this great event.


  1. Wonderful! And thank you for the recipes!

  2. What a delightful idea! I always frown at the idea of fruitcake, but I know in their day fruit and nuts were special treats. She would probably love an orange or some kind of berry especially out of season like we are privileged to have. The puddings, pies, and spice cakes would be wonderful as they would all be so fresh.

    Thanks for the recipe ideas and for the giveaway opportunity. I love Austenesque fiction.

  3. The pound cake sounds interesting. Thanks for the great giveaway, and Happy Birthday Jane!


  4. Happy Birthday to dear Miss Austen! I love your post, and will definitely check out the gingerbread cake recipe more closely as I love gingerbread. This is the first year I haven't made fruit cakes for our extended family, but a trifle for New Years sounds like just the ticket to get back in everyone's good graces.

  5. Wow this is a wonderful giveaway, I hope I win!

  6. I love fruitcake! And gingerbread! Happy Jane's Birthday! I would love to be chosen to win the drawing!

  7. Ah, what would this world be like without Jane Austen? Sad, that's what. Great celebration!

  8. I had never thought about the fact of what kinds of birthday desserts there were during Jane Austens day.
    Patricia F.

    Happy Birthday Jane!

  9. Mmm, cake...I've always been a cookie monster, but I think I'm developing a cake monster too, hehe :o)

    Thanks for the recipes!


  10. Happy Birthday, dear Jane Austen!
    Lia Freitas

  11. How exciting to be a part of this! I can't wait to check everything out on your blog! Thanks for the give-away!

    Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!


  12. Bonnie W. CarlsonDecember 16, 2011 1:23 PM

    It's hard to beat good gingerbread. Thank you for the opportunity to win a grab bag of books! I can't imagine a better gift! Not even cake!

  13. Yum, Christmas pudding and gingerbread cakes!! Sounds delish! You have me very hungry now! I might need to try one of these recipes!

  14. Happy Birthday to Jane! Thanks for the giveaway and the lovely birthday post! I'm craving a coffee and something sweet to go with it now lol!


  15. Happy Birthday Jane! I may have to try out the gingerbread cakes, they look fantastic!

  16. Interesting post! Wonderful giveaway! Happy 236th Miss Austen!

  17. The recipes sound like fun! And a grab bag of Austen-related books, too! Thanks!

  18. I LOVE fruitcake, so thank you! elaine489(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. I saw Jamie Oliver making Christmas pudding on the Cooking Channel the other day. It's... not what I thought it was. :P Then he made a strudel out of it!

  20. Thank you for being part of the celebration. Thank you for the recipes. Thank you for the giveaways. Hope I'm lucky. :) And... Happy Birthday Jane!!!

    lcsieck at gmail dot com

  21. That cake sounds delicious. Maybe someone will bake it for me...

    teabird17 atyahoodotcom

    Lovely giveaway - thank you!

  22. What lovely recipes!!! The giveaway sounds great too. :)
    araminta18 (at) gmail (dot) com

  23. Gingerbread cake sounds good. Will definitely check out those recipes. Thanks! Would also love to win the grab bag of books! Thanks for the giveaway!


  24. Happy Birthday, Jane!

    This is the best blog hop ever!
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  25. Happy Birthday, Jane! I hope you enjoyed your cake. :)

    Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!


  26. How wonderful! Happy birthday, dear Jane! :)


  27. I think that certain types of fresh fruit were often thought of a treat in Austen's time. I wouldn't say no to fruitcake either.


  28. Lovely post and thank you for the recipes! Happy Birthday Jane! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  29. Delicious! Thanks, Becky, for joining our party and for contributing to its success.

  30. Thanks for the recipes!


    felicialso@ gmail .com

  31. I love fruitcake and pound cake and gingerbread---oops, I just like cake! Am glad Miss Austen might have liked these things also. Lovely giveaway and thanks.


  32. Lovely recipes...thanks so much for the giveaway! Happy Happy Birthday Dear Jane!

    Stilettostorytime at gmail dot com

  33. ALWAYS, always appreciate Jane Austin AND all cakes (excluding any with coconut ;), but, especially, I have enjoyed your blog to which I was referred by a friend some time ago. Thank you for the time you devote to this enterprise!

    I wish you a thoroughly literate New Year and a VERY MERRY Christmas holiday! Love to have these tomes under my tree.....

    Austin, TX

  34. Ooooops and P.S.

    Omitted the following in my comment above:
    Carla Schuller

  35. Mmm, cake. Thanks for the giveaway.
    reader047 at gmail dot com

  36. Oo, some of those recipes seem absolutely yummy! I love my cake! Almost as much as I love Jane Austen.



  37. Thanks for the recipes! I'm a terrible cook but maybe I can get my mom or sister in law to make some yummy Regency treats for Christmas. Thanks also for the giveaway!

    Happy birthday Jane!


  38. Thank you for sharing the recipes. I looked at the trifle recipe and it looks a lot like the Nilla Wafers, bananas, and banana pudding concoction my parents made once in awhile. Whatever the name is, trife makes it sound much better!

    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

  39. What a fun post and fabulous giveaways!

    Jennifer W

  40. Mmm! I vote for the pound cake! Happy Bday, Jane! And thanks for this yummy post and giveaways!!

  41. Happy Birthday Miss Austen and congratulations to all who celebrate it like a dear friend’s birthday.I wish you the happiest of birthdays in a heaven surrounded by friends.
    My e-mail address is

  42. Yum!I'm excited to have some of those same type of delights in a few days at our Christmas celebration.Thank you for the bits of info. you shared.I like learning more with each post about Jane.Please do include me in your giveaway.Fingers crossed!Please drop by and visit my blog any time.I enjoyed my visit with you.Denise

  43. Thank you for joining us, Becky! And for the recipes.
    No need to enter me in the giveaway. Happy Holidays!

  44. Happy birthday, Jane! I'd like to try some of those treats. Thanks for the giveaway.