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Lardy Cake

In the North of England, it is traditional to serve lardy cake on holidays and special occasions.

  • Yield: Makes two 11-by-17-inch cakes
Lardy Cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998/1999


  • Sour Lardy Cake Dough
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 6 cups mixed dried fruit, such as currants, cranberries, and golden raisins
  • 8 ounces pure vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups turbinado or packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup cognac


  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half of the dough into a 16-inch square. Cover the remaining half with plastic wrap; set aside. In a small bowl, combine ginger, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, and mace. In a large bowl, combine dried fruit.

  2. Spread 2 ounces shortening over top of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around perimeter. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons turbinado sugar over shortening. Sprinkle one-fourth of combined spices over sugar. Sprinkle one-fourth of dried fruit over spices. Using the palms of your hands, gently press fruit into dough.

  3. Fold four corners of square into center, creating a smaller square, enclosing filling. Gently press down on dough with rolling pin. Spread 2 ounces shortening over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around perimeter. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons sugar, another one-fourth of spices, and another one-fourth of fruit. Using palms of your hands, gently press fruit into dough; fold dough into thirds.

  4. Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper; roll dough out into an 11-by-17-inch rectangle. Carefully lifting parchment, transfer to baking sheet. Let stand about 20 minutes.

  5. Repeat steps one through four with remaining dough, shortening, turbinado sugar, spices, and dried fruit.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine jam and cognac in a small saucepan. Set over low heat; cook until liquefied. Strain jam, discarding solids. Brush surface of lardy cakes with jam.

  7. Bake cakes until golden and puffed, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Lardy cake will keep for up to 1 day, wrapped in aluminum foil; reheat cake before serving.

Reviews (5)

  • Amanda100wilson 6 Jul, 2012

    Messed up my last post. It is not supposed to be flat like this either but is traditionally cake shaped and usually has a sticky base. This one looks too dry and flat to me.

  • Amanda100wilson 6 Jul, 2012

    Lardy cake is not from the North of England. It is from Wiltshire in the South West where pig farming was common and

  • PamGotcher 1 Nov, 2011

    This looks WONDERFUL. I have rendered lard here which I use when I make piecrust - I'll be substituting it for the vegetable shortening - and making it soon!

  • Joyfull4444 14 Aug, 2011

    Lovely! Being Brit born I've had a few Lardy cakes in my day, and have to say this recipe ranks right up there for taste!

    To ihodds re your comment about changing the name of the recipe. #1. Your comment was out of line. If you don't want to make the recipe, move on. #2. Do some research please. Lardy cake has been around since your Grandmothers day and before her. Why should the name of a traditional British recipe be changed to suit your fancy?

  • lhodd 21 Apr, 2010

    You really should change the name of this recipe with so many health concious people out there. I was sure there was lard in the recipe, luckily there is none.

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