Baking Form

15th century
Diameter: 11.2 cm
Inventory Number

The baking form shows Jesus at the Last Supper among his twelve apostles. Plates, drinking cups and the Paschal lamb can be seen on the festive table. The form was presumably used to make spice cakes, a specialty of the Neuss cake bakers. The sweet pastries were eaten as a dessert at festive meals. They also kept relatively well, making them useful as travel provisions. It is prepared from rye, honey, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. The cakes from Neuss were mainly sold to the visitors who came for the city fairs and to worship at the shrine of St. Quirinus. The cakes were also used as special gifts; for example, in 1440/1441 Duke Gerhard of Kleve-Berg presented the Cologne Archbishop with a number of Neuss cakes. The Cologne War of 1585–1586 dealt a blow to the profession. The declining numbers of pilgrims during the Thirty Years’ War put an end to the cake bakers’ business in Neuss.

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