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Lardy Cake Recipe

Expert baker Tom made this classic cake that's made from a yeast dough and cooked with lard, sugar and sultanas for stickiness

Makes 3 cakes


  • 560g strong white bread flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 50g lard
  • 10g dried yeast
  • 300ml warm water
  • Handful of raisins and sultanas

For the lard and sugar mix

  • 500g caster sugar
  • 500g lard


1. Line 2 x 15cm cake tins or enamel pie dishes with greaseproof paper.

2. Weigh the flour, salt and lard into a big bowl. Mix the yeast into the warm water then empty the mixture into the bowl and stir all the ingredients together.

3. Knead the dough for 20 minutes (or 10 minutes in an electric mixer). Once you have a smooth and elastic dough nestle it back into the bowl and cover in cling film with no air gaps. Leave it in a warm place to grow to twice its size or for 1 hour, whichever is first.

4. Meanwhile make the lard and sugar mix by mixing them together until they’re combined in a mixer or with a wooden spoon.

5. When it’s rested, divide the dough into 3 pieces. Mould the dough into round shapes and then on a well-floured table, with a rolling pin roll the balls out into discs.

6. Using a pallet knife, spread a layer of sweet lard mix onto each disc. Then fold the dough; this requires you to take and outside edge and pull into the middle, your circle now has a straight edge with a corner at each end. Looking at it clockwise, take the bottom corner and pull the corner into the middle and push the dough down with your palm. Now working clockwise pick up the bottom corner and continue to work your way around, pulling the bottom corner into the center until you’ve worked your way all around.

7. Roll the disc out again and then spread more sweet lard mix on top. Sprinkle with some raisins and currants and fold as before, then roll out to fit your round cake tins.

8. Put a big knob of the sweet lard mix in the bottom of each tin and spread it around to cover the bottom. Then sprinkle a generous tablespoon of sugar over the lard mix and place the dough on top, with the flat side on the bottom and the layered, knotted side on top. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for 2 hours.

9. After 2 hours, preheat the oven to 210°C/fan 190°C/gas mark 6½. Bake the lardy cake for 45 minutes until you can just lift the cake from the tin using the small pallet knife and the cake is golden all over.

10. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for half an hour until the caramelised lard toffee has set a bit. Then tip out onto grease proof paper and serve sunny side up.

Recipe from The Fabulous Baker Brothers, Published by Headline