McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on July 12 2006 | Leave A Comment

Here in the UK we take nutrition very seriously. From an early age, we’re taught about the three major food groups: Lager, Marmite & Jaffa Cakes.

Jaffa Cakes are of course the most important of the three. Many Brits have been known to go for days without lager. Some people even claim not to like Marmite. But we are all fed Jaffa Cakes daily from the day we are born.

Erm. At least that’s how it went in the dream I had last night.

For those of you unfamiliar with this delicacy, Jaffa Cakes are thin sponge ‘cakes’ with a disc of orangey jelly on top, covered in milk chocolate. I use the word ‘cakes’ in quotes, because there is still some debate about whether or they are in fact cakes or biscuits (that’s cookies for our American readers).

McVitie’s have always classed Jaffa Cakes as cakes, but in 1991 they were taken to court by HM Customs & Excise who claimed they were actually biscuits. (No, I’m not making this bit up, honest.)

In the UK, cakes are classed as luxury items and are not subject to VAT (sales tax), but biscuits are. Given the fact most Brits are addicted to Jaffa Cakes, customs felt they were losing a lot of revenue.

Thankfully McVitie’s won the case, so we can all feed our addiction without breaking the bank. Yay!

It’s difficult to tell what makes Jaffa Cakes so moreish. When you actually look at them, they’re not that special. A thin, rather dry sponge, a disc of artifical orange jelly and a very thin layer of chocolate. Very simple.

For me, I think it’s the fact they’re so light and they orangey bit is, as McVitie’s say themselves, rather smashing. The chocolate is almost imperceptible, and as far as I can tell , its only purpose it to keep the orangey bit in.

But none of that matters. Jaffa Cakes are simply yummy. Go buy some. Now.

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Comments On This Post

  1. They look like Pims? Are they like Pims?

    -Annie

  2. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    Not heard of Pims myself, but according to this:
    http://www.nicecupofteaandasitdown.com/jaffajudgement/

    ..I would say “yes, a bit”.

  3. Chocstress (Chocablog Staff)

    It wasn’t a dream, it’s a fact. We are indeed fed them from the beginning. Next time you call round to my Mum’s house (yeah I know, you don’t know my Mum nor where she lives…minor point) ask her about the first time she gave me a Jaffa Cake. She will happily repeat this tale numerous times over coffee and chocolate biscuits.
    Apparently I was sitting in my high-chair and up until this point had been a normal kind of baby. She gave me the Jaffa Cake and I immediately crammed it into my mouth, clasped both hands over my mouth and munched away, glaring, nay, daring anyone to try to take that cake away from me.
    Obviously I eat my boxes of Jaffa Cakes in a far more sophisticated fashion these days……oh yes I do ;)

  4. Chocstress (Chocablog Staff)

    Oh, by the way. That compartment in the car, between the two front seats..? It IS for stashing Jaffa Cakes isn’t it?

  5. debbie

    hello
    i don’t know if we have jaffa cakes in australia but i am going right out there to find some. i loved you description of them quite funny,deb

  6. Agnieszka

    Ooooh, I know this! I know! In Poland, this kind of chocolates are known as “Delicje”. And they are very tasty ^^

  7. Andy

    Beware , very addictive, You cant just eat one lol

  8. stuart

    This is to answer debbies query about Jaffa Cakes in Australia.On a recent visit to Sydney we found Jaffa Cakes in the british sweet shop upstairs in Darling Harbour, they were quite expensive but well worth it.

  9. Chris B

    OMG i love these so much…the rock so much…i’m currently explaining what they are to a friend in america and thats why i am here. I am eating them right now and unfortunately only have 2 left.

  10. Tim S

    I work at a grocery store in the US with a large Eastern European clientèle, and bought a pack of these on a whim (ours are imported from Poland; the brand is Delicje). Now I buy some pretty much every day… I’m hooked! Does anyone know of any way I can buy these in bulk?

  11. How do I order these in the U.S.?!!

  12. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    Tori: Try searching for a local (or online) British food store. Any of them that are any good will have Jaffa Cakes. I know there’s a few online shops that will deliver in the US, but as I’ve never used them I don’t really want to make any recommendations!

  13. stephen

    these are serously addictive i have litrally just finished a whole pack of these in like 3 minutes while saying to myself ‘full moon, half moon, Total eclipse’.:P

  14. John

    We used to have Jaffa Cakes in Sydney (made by Arnott’s I think)and I ate them in large amounts, but in recent years they have disappeared from the supermarkets. Now I’m in Brisbane and nobody’s ever heard of them! A trip to London to stock up seems a bit drastic, but then again they ARE Jaffa Cakes :-)

  15. TOM CARR

    I WORKED FOR McVITE AND PRICE IN 1959/1960 WHEN THE MANUFACTURING OF THE JAFFA CAKE WAS BEING DEVELLOPED I THINK THE STAFF ATE MORE THE PAYING PUBLIC.

  16. we are looking for a master jaffa cake baker, who knows the continuous industrial production line.
    we pay excellent salary and round trip plus free accomodation.
    please contact us by phone : 0098 912 137 27 10 or email.
    regards
    kazem Zamani

  17. The Jaffa cake (preferably plural) is just biscuity/cakey/whatevery perfection.

  18. Adonis Rosenstolz

    I wanna flying saucer.