A Jaffa Cake cut in half
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Creator(s)||McVitie and Price|
|Main ingredient(s)||Sponge cake, orange-flavoured jam/jelly, chocolate|
Jaffa Cakes are a biscuit-sized cake introduced by McVitie and Price in 1927 and named after Jaffa oranges. The most common form of Jaffa Cakes are circular, 2 1⁄2 inches (64 mm) in diameter and have three layers: a Genoise sponge base, a layer of orange flavoured jelly and a coating of chocolate. Jaffa Cakes are also available as bars or in small packs, and in larger and smaller sizes. The original Jaffa Cakes come in packs of 12, 24 or 36.
McVitie's did not trademark the name "Jaffa Cakes", and other biscuit manufacturers and supermarkets have made similar products under the same name.
McVitie's entire line of Jaffa Cakes are produced in the United Kingdom at the McVitie's factory in Manchester/Stockport. The area in which McVitie's Jaffa Cakes are produced covers an acre and travel on a production line over a mile long which sits on the Stockport side of its boundary with Manchester. Because of the nature of the product – having multiple components of cake, chocolate covering and jam – special hardware accelerators were devised to allow rapid computer inspection of 20 products per second, taking place under four symmetrically placed lights.
Categorisation as cake or biscuit for VAT
In the United Kingdom, value added tax is payable on chocolate-covered biscuits, but not on chocolate-covered cakes. McVities defended its classification of Jaffa Cakes as cakes at a VAT tribunal in 1991, against the ruling that Jaffa Cakes were biscuits due to their size and shape, and the fact that they were often eaten in place of biscuits. McVities insisted that the product was a cake, and according to rumour produced a giant Jaffa Cake in court to illustrate its point. After assessing the product on eleven criteria, including "texture", "attractiveness to children" and "consistency when stale", the court found in favour of McVities, meaning that VAT is not paid on Jaffa Cakes in the United Kingdom.
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