Biscuit or Cake?


Cake or biscuit? Best take a bite to check.

Probably the most divisive issue in snacks today is the fine line between a cake and a biscuit. This distinction is important for several reasons:

  • You can eat half a dozen biscuits without guilt, not so with cakes.
  • You are generally obliged to cut and share a cake with tea-friends, biscuits can be jealously hoarded behind your mug.
  • Cakes don’t get taxed, even if covered in chocolate. A chocolate biscuit is taxed.

The snack industry cares more about the last point, but I am far more concerned with my ability to snaffle and consume tasties with my tea. Below is a table you can use to determine if something is a cake or a biscuit, simply answer each question and sum your total. Try it with a few well-known examples, such as Jaffa Cakes, Chocolate Digestives and Victoria Sponge.

Seriously, all of this was from HMRC.

Take a bite, how is its texture? A. Soft and squishy
B. Crisp and brittle
Take a bite, is it mostly sponge? A. Yes, it was delicious
B. No, it was delicious
Take a bite, does it have one of the following in its name?
A. Cake
B. Biscuit
Take a bite, how large is it (before biting)? A. Too large to dunk
B. Fits in my teacup
Take a bite, how is it packaged? A. Flat, alongside each other or singly
B. Stacked or nested
Take a bite, what aisle was it in? A. With the cakes
B. With the biscuits
Take a bite, what happens when it goes stale? Not that it would be decent to leave it for so long. A. It hardens
B. It softens
Take a bite, how do you eat it? A. Attack with a fork!
B. Devour by hand!
Take a bite, is there any left? A. Yes, but not for long
B. I’ve already had six

Mostly A’s is a cake. Probably half-eaten now, it would be a mercy to finish it off…
Mostly B’s is a biscuit. Or was. Perhaps there is another packet?

There are exceptions to every rule, and it would probably be best to double check your results by taking the test again…