Classics, archaeology and linguistics themed cakes to celebrate the Bake Off Final

I’m not a skilled baker myself, but I highly appreciate baking excellence in others, particularly in the form of the Great British Bake Off. Tonight is, of course, this year’s final (I’ll be cheering for Nadiya), so it seems the perfect opportunity to plug some of my favourite Classics, archaeology and linguistics themed show-stoppers.

Firstly of all, Anna Judson, whose linguistics baking series you can find on Res Gerendae. She’s been doing a few inscription-themed cakes per year for a while, and the ones I’ve seen in person have been both linguistically accurate and very tasty. Her blog posts include some information about the language and the meaning of the inscription too. I’m hoping I can tempt her to make a Venetic cake for our Easter language seminar. (She will probably read this, so I’m starting my hints early.)

My own attempt at Oscan brownies was not quite up to Anna’s standards, as I ran out of icing part way through and so the inscription changed colour. (The inscription in question is Lu 5, from Rossano di Vaglio, in case anyone is interested.)

The joint efforts of Anna Judson and Matt Scarborough also once resulted in a Ferdiand de Saussure cake for my birthday (sorry for the grainy picture, it was a few years ago now).

Archaeologists may also have seen the post “10 Cakes Every Archaeologist Will Want to Stick Their Trowel Into” about a year ago – some excellently ambitious cakes there, all wisely harnessing the similarity of chocolate to dirt. Nicely done, everyone! The cake from the Classics faculty for Mary Beard, Joyce Reynolds and Pat Easterling is particularly cool.

But if you want a Classical cake, you can’t do better than this one by an anonymous archaeologist, who combines a Greek temple with red-figure pottery to stunning effect.


Happy baking and/or eating everyone. Let’s hope the Great British Bake Off finishes with an unexpected archaeological twist.

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