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Wirksworth Wakes Cake


Small sweet enriched wheatflour cakes or biscuits with carraway and currants, associated with the annual Wakes holidays at Wirksworth near Matlock. There is a similar, somewhat plainer, version from nearby Winster.. Compare with Goosnargh Cake

Original Receipt from, who say that; "These recipes come from "House Hand Book" by Peter Geary, who was Bailiff of Derby in 1610 and 1619, before mayors began in 1638. Many more old recipes can be found in "Derbyshire Cookery" by Janet Arthur"

Wirksworth WAKES CAKES


1 ½ lb flour      
a pinch of salt
1 lb sugar            
carraway seeds
a few currants      
1 teaspoon carbonate of ammonia
2 tablespoons cream
1 lb butter

Beat the butter and sugar to a cream and add 1 teaspoon carbonate of ammonia. Stir in flour and a few currants and carraway seeds and 2 tablespoons cream. Roll out thinly and cut in rounds. Bake in a moderate oven 360°F to a pale brown.

[Note the use of carbonate of ammonia, the fore-runner to bicarbonate of soda. The difficulty is to remove the ammonia flavour during cooking.]

For a list of northern Wakes Day traditions, see the end of the Winster Wakes Cakes page

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