jaffa cakes

Jaffa Cakes: Cakes or Biscuits?




Jaffa Cakes, cake, biscuit or something else? Why should Jaffa Cakes be named as they are? Well Jaffa comes from Jaffa Oranges, which are named after the Israeli city of Jaffa. But then why should they be called Jaffa Cakes when they look so much like biscuits? In fact whether Jaffa Cakes are cakes, biscuits or something else has been the subject of much controversy in the United Kingdom.

Under UK law no value added tax (VAT) is placed on biscuits or cakes. But critical to the controversial issue of Jaffa Cakes’ name, when a biscuit is covered in chocolate it becomes subject to the standard VAT rate of 17.5%. Mcvities, the market leaders for Jaffa Cakes classed them as cakes, not biscuits, but this classification was challenged by Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise in 1991.

In the end the case ended up in the courts and the court were forced to answer the question of when something should be classed as a cake and when it should be classed as a biscuit. Answering this general question would then lead easily into a decision related to ‘Jaffa Cake, cake or biscuit?’

So what happened? Is a Jaffa Cake a cake? Happily for us Jaffa Cake lovers who would not relish the prospect of having to pay another 17.5% for our Jaffa Cakes, the court ruled in favour of Mcvities. One of the critical aspects of the argument was related to what happens when biscuits or cakes go stale. The court found, as anyone who has forgotten to put the lid on their biscuit tin properly will know, that when biscuits go stale they go softer. But when cakes go stale they go harder. The test was done, and when Jaffa cakes are left exposed to the air they get harder. So Jaffa cakes are definitely cakes and not biscuits. We recommend that you do the test to see for yourself, because unlike disgusting soggy biscuits, when Jaffa cakes go stale the new harder type of Jaffa cake you get is actually still delicious.

Just one more interesting Jaffa Cake fact all about their name: During the court battle between Mcvities and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise, Mcvities baked a giant Jaffa Cake to prove that Jaffa cakes were really cakes and not biscuits. I don’t know what you think, but our taste buds are definitely watering thinking about a giant Jaffa Cake!

101 Responses to “Jaffa Cakes: Cakes or Biscuits?”

  1. self defense Rob Says:

    Um, Biscuit?

  2. AlexM Says:

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  3. jayjay Says:

    its a biscuit!

  4. Jean Says:

    Call it a cookie, it will be even, lol!

  5. Freda Logan Says:

    cake definately

  6. Anonymous Says:

    IT IT A CAKE< END OF!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Chocolate Hob Nobs - Page 2 - Britmovie - British Film Forum Says:

    [...] can’t really compare them to Hob Nobs. (Whatever shelf you find them on in the supermarket!) Are Jaffa Cakes A Biscuit Or A Cake? (I don’t agree with that [...]

  8. Anonymous Says:

    biscuit

  9. Scotty Dog Says:

    Giant Jaffa cake??!! WOW…The very idea elates me!
    Well done McVities - Nice to see the VAT man losing once in a while!

  10. bob the gold fish Says:

    biscuit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. anon Says:

    seriously how much time do people have on there hands no one cares mate lol

  12. Eli Says:

    i like jaffa cakes.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    All you losers who say they are cakes clearly got a jaffa cake for their birthday and tried to convince themselves that it’s a cake.. where as the rest of us get served one with a cup of tea like a BISCUIT!.. served as a biscuit.. eaten like a biscuit.. NOT A CAKE.. it’s in the biscuit aisle of tesco!!.. and may I add… made in a biscuit (NOT CAKE) factory..

    I stand by it.. BISCUIT!

  14. Daniel Says:

    great post, thanks for sharing

  15. Jo Says:

    Its made of sponge so therefore it a cake. Biscuits are hard and soften when stale, cakes are soft/spongey and harden when stale. Jaffa CAKE harden when stale. IT’s A CAKE!!!

  16. Alex Says:

    Spot on Jo!

  17. Catherine Says:

    Does it really matter if they are a cake or a biscuit…they are awesome and I can buy them in Canada!! :)

  18. Bethh Says:

    BISCUIT
    CAKE
    BISCUIT

  19. Will Says:

    CAKE! DUH!

  20. Will.I.Am Says:

    cake! its in the name ‘jaffa CAKE!’

  21. Jaimee Says:

    i love jaffa cakes and it is a cake because it has cake in the name so therfore it is a cake not a biscuit a cake okay? Good now that thats settled….I LOVE YOU JAFFA CAKE!! <3<3<3

  22. Alice Says:

    My friend Megan is amazing. She has concluded our dilemma for Jaffa Cakes. As stated above, Jaffa Cakes go hard therefore a cake!:):)

  23. lara jones Says:

    We are having a debate about a Jaffa cake at school. lol

  24. AMy francis Says:

    hey i love eating jaffa cakes that is why i am so fat but i cant decide wheather to eat them anymore as i hate buiscuitsa dn everyone says they are busicuits

  25. lara jones Says:

    I love jaffa cakes so does my friend amy francis. we eat them all the time and there for we found out the answer and they are cakes because that is the name JAFFA CAKES. me and my friend always go hyper when we eat them LOL :D.

  26. shaun tyler Says:

    biscuit

  27. shaun tyler Says:

    biscuit!

  28. kebab house Says:

    Want to have your cake n eat it too? Make a cupcake! Lemon flavored!

  29. MrsRight Says:

    LOL, i love reading the Jaffa Cake Case. Buttt…..

    OMFG it’s a cake in the shape of a biscuit! Get your head out your asses.. It was proven in a court room.. Read it properly it’s made with a CAKE base therefore it is a CAKE! Stupid silly little people who don’t know nothing!

  30. ilovepoo Says:

    jaffas are blates cake. deal with it?

  31. Eleanor Says:

    Why does it matter so much?? xPP

  32. Rich Wyatt Says:

    I love Jaffa cakes and eat around 100 a day. Tonight I ate a massive Jaffa cake sponge cake. Yum yum in my tum! Keep up the good work Jaffa cake men and women. I salute you!!!

  33. Jennii Says:

    i deem them to be cake but for comments on the name they were changed from jaffa oranges to jaffa cakes in 1991 for the court case which decided they were cake.

  34. Ethan Says:

    Jaffa are a cake because if you leave them out the sponge goes hard and if it was a biscuit it would go soggy point proven.

  35. Geraint Jones Says:

    i’m fat and it’s a cake!!!!!

  36. chloe Says:

    Well jaffa cakes are called jaffa CAKES the word cakes is in the name so end of

  37. Andrew Says:

    You cant adequately dunk them in tea, hence they are a cake and not a biscuit

  38. Megan Says:

    All of you who say its a biscuit obviosly want to pay more for them.ITS A CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Alex M Says:

    tis a cake
    Jaffa ‘Cake’
    Cake is soft
    Biscuit is hard
    but…
    THE CAKE IS A LIE!

  40. stephie Says:

    Cake why don’t you try it, it is named Jaffa Cake after all hence the Cake it gives it away in the title and all. I don’t know any other Cake that lies about it’s name because they are not lieing

  41. Joe Says:

    I love jaffa Cakes! :)

  42. Harry Says:

    Bad a debate with my mate at school, asked my whole science and history class , went through countless websites and even emailed McVities

    Survey: Cakes won
    Websites: Cakes won
    Email: Cakes won

    He is now converted

    P.S THEY ARE CAKES
    and taste really nice

  43. Harry Says:

    Should say *had
    (Spell check messed it up)

  44. AP Says:

    McVities make them and they proved in court that Jaffa Cakes are cakes not biscuits. If the manufacturer says they are a cake, who are we to argue!!

  45. calvin Says:

    BUISCUITS END OF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. becca Says:

    its a cake, hence the name jaffa cakes. its a cake on the inside, a spongey cake base and it has no buscuit in it, so it’s a cake!

  47. Hollie Says:

    Biscuit

  48. Liam Weston Says:

    Cake? Biscuit? Who really cares - all I know is that the Government gets enough of our hard earned cash as it currently stands so well done Jaffa! Roll up and Chew on Baby… ;O)

  49. Anonymous Says:

    Obviously a cake because they’re not called Jaffa CAKES or anything. Also I know they’re deffo a cake because its on the logo quiz board game

  50. Karen Hughes Says:

    I don;t eat Jaffa Cakes so I don’t care - My friend Jade ate so many once that she turned Ornage….TRUE STORY

  51. BOB Says:

    I LOVE JAFFA CAKES!!! THEY ARE CAKES!!! END OF!!!!! <3<3<3<3<3<3

  52. mr jaffa cakes Says:

    its a cakey biscuity thing thats really really good

  53. wiggy Says:

    They are cakes by law. There was actually a trial to determine the answer and cakes won. Apparently. They are cakes though, hence the name “Jaffa CAKES”

  54. Red Says:

    cookies are better then jaffa cakes by MILES

  55. danny Says:

    I love jaffa cake!!!! It,s a cake

  56. Dude4 Says:

    they are clearly crisps :)

  57. Karl Says:

    They are clearly BISCUITS. They are found in the biscuit isle, they are the size, shape and style of biscuits.

    There may be “Cake” in the name but don’t be fooled by this, Tesco’s had called their burgers “Beef Burgers” when they actually were horse, so therefore the name is irrelevant.

    They are biscuits and I will not give up until everyone knows the truth!

  58. bobby Says:

    IT IS A CAKE BECAUSE
    a) ITS IN THE NAME
    b) IF YOU LEAVE THEM THEY DONT GO DAMP AND SOGGY LIKE BISCUITS
    c) THEY ARE NOT CRUNCHY

  59. Karl Says:

    Jaffa Cakes are currently classed as cakes and this is due to a legal implication which meant that people would have to pay VAT on them. To prevent people from having to pay VAT and to save money they had paid of some officials to get Jaffa Cakes to be classed as cakes.
    The tea cake story is very similar, when they were proven to be biscuits the tax man was forced to pay £3.5 million. This would be the same with Jaffa Cakes if they were proven to be biscuits.
    Jaffa Cakes are used as biscuits as well, you eat them like biscuits, you have them as snacks compared to cakes where you only really eat them on an odd occasion and not that many.
    Additionally if you want to buy some Jaffa Cakes you would go into your local supermarket and then would go to the “Biscuit” isle where you will find Jaffa Cakes among the other Biscuits.
    Overall this is an act of fraud, this this is a conspiracy to save the tax man and McVities a lot of money. We must all stand together to beat this conspiracy and rise as a nation!

  60. Will Says:

    By law, a Jaffa cake is a cake…

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/vfoodmanual/vfood6260.htm

  61. my name is jeff Says:

    Jaffa Cakes are currently classed as cakes and this is due to a legal implication which meant that people would have to pay VAT on them. To prevent people from having to pay VAT and to save money they had paid of some officials to get Jaffa Cakes to be classed as cakes.
    The tea cake story is very similar, when they were proven to be biscuits the tax man was forced to pay £3.5 million. This would be the same with Jaffa Cakes if they were proven to be biscuits.
    Jaffa Cakes are used as biscuits as well, you eat them like biscuits, you have them as snacks compared to cakes where you only really eat them on an odd occasion and not that many.
    Additionally if you want to buy some Jaffa Cakes you would go into your local supermarket and then would go to the “Biscuit” isle where you will find Jaffa Cakes among the other Biscuits.
    Overall this is an act of fraud, this this is a conspiracy to save the tax man and McVities a lot of money. We must all stand together to beat this conspiracy and rise as a nation!

  62. jesus Says:

    they are cakes i am big G’s son and i say theyre cakes therefore theyre cakes god bless xxx :)

  63. Shon Says:

    Clearly this is a question best left to pastry chefs.

  64. steph Says:

    cake

  65. maverick Says:

    if it’s fluffy it’s a cake, if it’s crumbly it’s a biscuit. judging from the texture jaffa cakes are indeed cakes.

  66. charleen Says:

    it is obviously a biscuit

  67. Lol Says:

    They are cake biscuits end of

  68. Arvind kumar Says:

    Need sample ,as i have never taste so cna’t say biscuit or cake……………

  69. Leon Cooper Says:

    lemons ;)

  70. bug Ois Says:

    Man alive ill be back in a minute just heading to the biscuit aisle in Tesco to buy some Jaffa biscuits :-) just kidding really they are cakes just ask my 60 inch waist.

  71. Phil Hibbs Says:

    In my opinion it should not matter - just as a chocolate coating on a biscuit makes it subject to VAT, then there should probably be a similar rule for “individual serving cakes with chocolate coating”.

  72. its a cake Says:

    its a cake

  73. Mr Mackay Says:

    I AM SO CONFUSED! WHY DO THE STAFF IN SUPERMARKETS NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE? EVERY TIME I GO LOOKING FOR JAFFA CAKES I FIND THEM IN THE BISCUIT SECTION - THIS IS LIKE PUTTING THE YOGHURT IN WITH THE SOUP. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE! ☻

  74. Mr Kipling Says:

    Jaffa cakes are definitely “CAKES” the case was proven back in the 1990’s ask the HMRC :)

    And,if you cant find Jaffa Cakes in your local supermarket - well you’ve only got 2 sections to look in it’s not too difficult, it’s not like you’ve got to make like you’re Indiana Jones searching for the “Lost Ark”

  75. Jay Williamson Says:

    cake

  76. Aaron Says:

    Since when did people choose to determine how to categorise food based on appearance rather than ingredients and texture? Jaffa cakes are made from a GENOISE SPONGE. Cake. And on that matter, since when were biscuits all one particular shape? Nice are rectangular, hob nobs are circular. Biscuit shapes differ, as do cake shapes.Traditional cakes are cylindrical. Prinsesstårtas are hemispherical.Tennis cakes are cuboidal. Jaffa cakes may have an unconventional circular shape which is more commonly attributed to biscuits, but they are nevertheless cakes.

  77. anonymous Says:

    be quiet they are not biscuits….cake indeed

  78. Ben Dover Says:

    i like Jaffa CAKES

  79. Myles Says:

    They are a cake regardless of what idiots who think they are biscuits might think or say. Just because you were served one with a cup of tea makes it no more a biscuit than a birthday cake made solely of digestives makes it s cake. A rose by any other name?

  80. Matt Says:

    It is neither a cake nor a biscuit.

    It is a CIRCLE OF CHOCOLATEY ORANGE GOODNESS!

    ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY JAFFA!!!

  81. Shut up Says:

    They are cakes. Cakes are soft and turn hard, biscuits are hard and turn soft. Anyone who says Jaffa Cakes are “obviously” biscuits is being stupid. There is no “obviously” about them, hence the many many people who are arguing about it on this page.

  82. Karla Says:

    I looked at the eord cake so much it even looks like it’s spelt wrong now they are most defiantly a cake I would not dunk it in my cuppa haha

  83. Harry Ovett Says:

    Whoah!
    VAT is not levied on biscuits or cakes? Why not?
    But when chocolate is put on top, then the whole item (not just the chocolate,) but the whole thing attracts VAT.Why?
    I can only conclude that the law is an ass (which is the American pronunciation of the word).
    Chocolate is taking the rap here. Chocolate is merely a minor villain and is being unfairly punished at a rate of 17.5% when the real villain is the sugar in cakes and biscuits, which gets off scot-free.
    For me, (and in the interests of limiting our obesity rates), all items containing sugar should attract VAT. After all, boozers and smokers are taxed for indulging in unhealthy consumption habits.
    If drizzling chocolate over an item attracts VAT, then I will just have to stop enrobing my lettuce in Cadbury’s.

  84. Ellie Says:

    definitely jaffa cakes

  85. logo Says:

    i think it both leave it to go stail then it hard but the eat it out of a rapper its a cake

  86. calFreezy Says:

    its a cake

  87. Anonymous Says:

    cake

  88. Anonymous Says:

    Biscuits

  89. Oliver William Farnworth Says:

    It is definitely a cake because Jaffa cakes go hard as do cakes while biscuits go soft

  90. Mart Says:

    CAKE

  91. Captain Cake Says:

    It’s incredible that despite the facts being displayed here on the correct legal definition of the Jaffa Cake and the court action which was very interesting at the time - that you still get utter plonkers dispute it. Saddos!

  92. Anonymous Says:

    CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKKKKKKKEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  93. max Says:

    cakeeeèeëë

  94. Anonymous Says:

    It’s a cake!!!! Jafa (CAKE!)

  95. Cake master!!! Says:

    It’s a cake and I have proof! Because if you haven’t noticed a biscuit/cookie does NOT have sponge wit in fact a CAKE does! And for god sake guys It says it in the freakin name so please believe me and put more comment that say It’s a cake so more people understand that It’s not a biscuit! Thank you xx

    Cake master!!!

  96. Jaffa Cake Challenge Says:

    Challenge:

    1. Go to Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda or indeed any local supermarket chain.
    2. Go to the cake aisle.
    3. Find a Jaffar cake packet in less than five minutes.
    4. If found buy it and enjoy if not found come back on this site and comment that it is in fact a biscuit.

  97. MHDS Says:

    All I can say is that they are too delicious and one more has to be eaten, and then another one………!!

  98. Mrsright Says:

    it is a biscuit, silly little people who know nothing!

  99. A cakey says ......... Says:

    A cakey sake that this IS A CAKE

  100. A cakey says ......... Says:

    That this is definitely a cake

  101. Quasim Khan Says:

    It’s legally a cake, I read it somewhere

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