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Yorkshire Tea Cakes


An enriched small bread-cake. More-or-less identical to the product generally known in England as 'teacakes' before the Fruited Teacake became universal.

Compare with: Toasted Teacake Sweets

Original Receipt from Beeton's 'The Young Englishwoman' of 1867

Yorkshire Tea Cakes - A little thin cream warmed, add a lump of butter and an egg and a few spoonsful of yeast, mix all with sufficient flour to make a light dough, let it stand to rise, roll into round cakes, let them rise before the fire on tins and bake a light brown. Split, butter and serve hot

Original Receipt from 'The Skilful Cook' by Mary Harrison (Harrison 1884)

Yorkshire Teacakes.

1 lb. of flour.
1 gill of milk.
1 oz. of butter.
1 egg.
oz. of German yeast.

Method.--Put the flour into a basin, and rub the butter into it.
Make the milk tepid, and blend it with the yeast.
Strain it into the flour.
Add the egg.
Beat all well together for a few minutes.
Knead lightly.
Then divide the dough in two.
Make each part into a ball, and put them in floured cake-tins.
Put the cakes in a warm place to rise for one hour, and then bake them for about twenty minutes.
Brush them over with a syrup of sugar and water to glaze them.

Original Receipt from 'The Bread And Biscuit Baker's And Sugar-Boiler's Assistant' by Robert Wells, 1890 (Wells 1890)

13. - Sally Luns, Yorkshire, or Tea Cakes.

Take 1 quart of milk, 14 lb. of moist sugar, and 2 ozs. of German yeast. Ferment this with a little flour, and when ready, add 12 lb. of butter (some add also 4 eggs to this quantity) and make into dough as for tea-cakes; butter some rings or hoops, and place them on buttered tins, weigh or divide into 5 or 6 ozs. for two pence; mould them round, put them in the hoops, and, when half proved, make a hole in each with a piece of stick. Do not overprove them, or they will eat poor and dry. When baked, which will be in about ten or fifteen minutes, wash over the top with egg and milk.

Cover of the 1911 'Paper Bag Cookery'

There is no suggestion that Yorkshire Tea Cakes are commonly, or ought to be, cooked in paper bags, but this receipt is included as an example of a curious early 20th century fad..

Original Receipt from 'Paper-Bag Cookery' by Vera, Countess Serkoff, London 1911


Cream the white of one egg in as much butter and sugar together; beat into the white of the egg as much ground rice and self-raising flour; mix to a light dough with one tablespoonful of milk. Butter two plates, spread over the mixtures, put each plate into a "Papakuk" bag, cook fifteen minutes, spread one cake with warmed jam, put the other on the top, and serve hot.

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