Known at least since references in the Gentleman's Magazine 1789 with a report of a legend that an old woman of Leverington made some cakes which were so enjoyed by one of her guests, the devil in disguise, that he created a whirlwind to carry off her and the cakes. A style of cake was baked in the vicinity of Wisbeach, in the Isle of Ely, on the fifth Sunday in Lent in supposed commemoration of this. The compendium 'Time's Telescope' of 1823 adds that 'they are made by almost every family'.
Whirlin cakes, or just 'whirlings' are repeatedly mentioned in news reports of the 19Cent, being variously associated with Yorkshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and elsewhere, but the composition of them appears to be lost.
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