With it being National Biscuit Day, we thought we would look into the age old debate - Are Jaffa Cakes a cake or a biscuit?

As people’s opinions vary drastically in the Calibre offices, we put a slice of Jaffa Cake to the test using C-Cell, to get to the bottom of it once and for all!


But first, here’s a bit of history on the Jaffa Cake, and what the internet has to say:

Jaffa Cakes were first introduced by McVities to the UK in 1927, and the name comes from the orange flavoured jam from Jaffa Oranges. The most common features of a Jaffa Cake are:

  • Circular, 2 1/8 inches (or 54mm) in diameter

  • 3 layers consisting of a sponge base, orange flavoured jam topped with chocolate.

In the UK, VAT is added on any product which is a chocolate covered biscuit, but not on chocolate covered cakes and are usually assessed on the following criteria:

  • The product name

  • The ingredients are more of a cake-like batter rather than the thick texture of biscuit dough

  • The texture of the sponge

  • The product goes hard when stale

However, the argument that the Jaffa Cake is infact a biscuit, comes from that its size is more consistent with a traditional biscuit rather than a cake. To strengthen the argument, Jaffa Cakes are usually displayed in shops alongside biscuits, rather than in the cake aisle, and eaten as a snack with fingers (as you would a biscuit) rather than with a fork as a traditional slice of cake!

What does C-Cell say:

We looked at the characteristics of 4 slices of Jaffa Cake, and taken an average which concluded:

The number of cells in the sponge is consistent with what we find in cakes – approx. 50 cells per square cm, with an average cell diameter of 1mm, rather than the more compressed structure typically found in biscuits.

C-Cell analysis found the following results: 

  • Average diameter of product (52mm)

  • The top jam layer has an average thickness of 4mm

  • A covering chocolate layer of 1mm



All in all, we stand by the argument (against some members of Calibre) that a Jaffa cake IS infact a Cake!