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20 Strange Sounding British and Irish Cakes and Puddings


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20 Weird and Wonderful Cakes Puddings and Biscuits
Eton Mess Dessert

Eton Mess Dessert

Photo © RFB Photography
Cakes, puddings and biscuits seem to be one of the biggest culprits for weird sounding names in British and Irish Food. Here are just a few of them.


  1. Singin' Hinnies These lovely, sweet griddle cakes are a delight. Hinney is the pronunciation of " honey " in the north east of England and a term of endearment used to and about women and children. The singing part of the name is when the caked are cooked in a hot flat griddle pan, as they hit the pan, the butter and lard starts to sizzle and 'sing'.
  2. Spotted Dick The name of this classic English pudding usually will raise a smile or look of horror, which is why some prefer the less-well-known title of “Spotted Dog Pudding”. It is believed the spotted part refers to the raisins and currants in the dough and the word dick' is a colloquial word for pudding originating from the older word for a pudding, a " puddick " " or " " puddog. " .
  3. Barm Brack  Brack is one of Ireland's most famous bakery products. The name comes from breac which means speckled, referring to the fruit in the loaf. Brack is traditionally eaten at Halloween but is too delicious to save for just once a year. Eat it at tea time, or as part of your St Patrick's Day celebrations.
  4. Tablet This is not as it sounds, something to write on, nor a piece of 21st century technology but is, in fact, a sweet Scottish, fudge-like, extremely sugary candy. Scottish tablet contains sugar, butter and condensed milk and is very easy to make. A word of warning though - it is seriously moreish if you have a sweet tooth.
  5. Cranachan Not quite a trifle but similar, Cranachan is a Scottish dessert often served at celebrations such as Christmas or Burn's Night. The pudding contains lovely Scottish raspberries, oats, cream, honey and a dash of Scotch whisky.
  6. Parkin Parkin is the Northern English form of gingerbread, distinguished by where and how it is made. The most well known is Yorkshire Parkin, which traditionally is eaten on November 5th, Bonfire Night - the night celebrating the famous failure of Yorkshire man Guy Fawkes, to blow up the Houses on Parliament in 1605.
  7. Bara Brith No Welsh afternoon tea would ever be complete without this delicious fruity tea bread. Bara Brith literally means speckled bread.
  8. Eccles Cake Eccles cakes aren't cakes, but small flat pastry filled with dried fruits and spices from Eccles in North West England and were first made in Eccles in 1793.
  9. Eton Mess The dish of a mixture of strawberries, meringue and cream was traditionally served at Eton College but how it came to have the name is not clear. One story is a Labrador dog sat on a picnic basket in the back of a car and squashed a strawberry and meringue dessert.
  10. Crempog Crempog are Welsh pancakes and are different to the traditional British pancake normally eaten on Pancake Day. Crempog are thicker, slightly risen and cooked on a griddle - not unlike American pancakes. They are quick and easy to make and make a delicious tea time treat or eaten for breakfast.
  11. Fat Rascals No, not a naughty child but rather an obese-looking scone. Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms in Harrogate lay a claim to this cake-like scone, the recipe for which is a closely guarded secret. However, there are versions found all over England.
  12. Hevva Cake Cornish Hevva cake is steeped in tradition around the traditional pilchard fishing in the county. It is a hefty thick, flat cake made of lard, margarine and flour and filled with sugar and currants.
  13. Dead Man's Leg aka Dead Man's Arm or Jam Roly Poly That's quite a set of names for this pudding, which is actually more fondly known as a Jam Roly Poly. It is the shape and texture of the log-shaped suet roll which gives it the grizzly connection of dead mans limbs.
  14. Huffkin Huffkins are also known as Kentish Huffkin, where this bread-like bun is from. The bun differs from a traditional tea or bread cake as it has a little lard in the mixture. The bread bun can be eaten filled with meat or can also be filled with fruits, and Kent's cherries are a particular favourite.
  15. Black Bun  Black Bun is a traditional Scottish treat eaten at Hogmanay (New Years Eve). It is dense rich, dried fruits wrapped in pastry, the filling looking almost black, hence the name.
  16. Dorset Knobs What a delightful name but actually no more than a small bread dough dry bun with a little added sugar and butter. Though once there were many producers of the dusty bun, now there remains only one. Traditionally the Dorset Knob is eaten with cheese.
  17. Bedfordshire Clanger Bedfordshire Clanger is not really a pudding or a cake, but neither is it a savoury dish. The Clanger is both; one end is meat, potato and vegetables, the other sweet. The unusual pasty-like dish is made of suet and was for agricultural workers. who in the 19th century, found it a handy way of having lunch and pudding all at once.
  18. Ecclefechan Tart Quite simply a rich, dried fruit filled, sweet tart from its namesake, the village of Ecclefechan in the Dumfries and Galloway region of southern Scotland. The tart is also known as Border Tart, which is lovely but not as endearing as Ecclefechan.
  19. Sussex Pond Pudding No sludgy, dirty ponds in this one, Sussex Pond Pudding is (again) a suet pastry pud, the pastry encasing a whole lemon, butter and sugar. The pudding is then steamed for several hours, which creates a lovely pool of thick lemony sauce when cut.
  20. HobNobs Hob-nobbing may be a term more associated with rubbing shoulders with the rich, famous or royalty but in culinary terms, it is an oaty, crumbly sweet biscuit made commercially by McVities

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