Yorkshire Recipes


Yorkshire Beer Fruit Loaf

Here’s a baking recipe, using local beer, that dates back to the mid 19th century. It produces a delicious fruit loaf with a nutty flavour.

Why cook with beer?   The bitter nature of decent beers will add a new flavour dimension to a dish and can offset the sweetness of cake recipes. The yeast in beer is also particularly suited to baking and battering. Breads, fritters and pancakes, for example, can benefit from being made with yeasty brews, which can lighten the texture and make for tender, tasty crusts.

As British beers all have their own distinctive flavours , you might need to experiment to see which you like best. Darker ales, for example, can bring a richer caramelised flavour to a cake.  But, whatever you choose, remember, Yorkshire beer is the best in the world!


  • 3 oz (85g) butter or margarine
  • 3 oz (85g) soft brown sugar
  • 3 oz (85g) currants
  • 1 oz (28g) chopped mixed peel
  • 8 oz (225g) plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 150 ml (quarter pint) of beer (Yorkshire ale or bitter)
  •  ½  level teaspoon bicarbonate soda


  1. Grease a large loaf tin (I lined it with greaseproof paper too, to stop it sticking)
  2. Cream the butter or margarine, then add the sugar, currants, peel and flour. Mix well.
  3. Beat the egg with the beer and add and mix the bicarbonate of soda to the egg and beer. Add this to the dry ingredients
  4. Transfer the mixture to the baking tin and bake it in a moderate oven (around 190C/375F/gas mark 5) for 1 hour, or until firm to touch on top
  5. Cool on a rack and serve in slices with butter. Delicious!

Source: Theodora Fitzgibbon (1979) A Taste of Yorkshire in Food and Pictures. Pan Books.

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