Yorkshire Recipes


Sad Cakes

Peter Brears, in his excellent book, ‘Traditional Food in Yorkshire’, cites a 19th Century source: W. Howitt, The Rural Life of England’ (1840). Howitt had written how local people in the Yorkshire Dales could make:

            … in a wonderful short time … those delicious little kettle-cakes, or as they call them, sad-cakes, made of pastry thickly doted with currants.

These cakes, however, were certainly not just confined to Yorkshire, and similar recipes can be found across Northern England.


  •  10 oz/280g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 oz/113 g lard
  • ¼ pint/150 ml/5 fl oz milk
  • 1 oz/28 g each of sugar and currents


  1.  Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and rub in the lard.
  2. Mix in the milk and make a dough
  3. Divide the dough into three and form each into a round ball with a hole in the centre
  4. Fill with the mixed sugar and currants
  5. Cover over the hole with surrounding dough and roll out to ½ inch/ 1 cm thick. Cut into rounds.
  6. Bake at 200°C/400° F, gas mark 6, for 15-20 minutes.

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