A general term for any form of cake made on a flat griddle.
The English word 'griddle' is extremely old, occurring in the 15th Century 'Austin Manuscripts' (Austin 1440) "Haddoke..yrosted on a gridel" and in the verse cookery book 'Liber Cure Cocorum', 1430 (Liber Cure 1430); "Take lamprayes and..rost hom on gredyl", which both would seem to refer to a slatted grid-iron. Indeed, Wycliffite's bible of about 1400 has; "And thou schalt make a brasun gridele in the maner of a net."
Irish type of flat griddle
The use of 'griddle' for a flat plate, suitable for cake-baking, seems to have earlier been restricted to Scotland, Wales and Ireland and from there transferred to North America, but is rare in English practice. Indeed, simple sweet griddle-pancakes are referred to in England as 'Welsh Cakes' or 'Scotch Pancakes'.
English examples of foods which could be described as Griddle Cake include Singin' Hinnies and Bristol Cakes. The Cumbrian or Northumberland 'girdle' cakes are clearly from the same derivation.
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