Lardy cake

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This lardy cake recipe from Victoria Glass is a traditional British favourite. There is hot dispute in southern counties as to which can boast the original recipe – but all must agree it's best served with a nice cup of tea as an afternoon snack. This recipe is taken from Too Good To Waste by Victoria Glass, Nourish Books. Photography by Danielle Wood.

First published in 2017
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You can render your own lard from the fat around a pig’s loin or back fat. It’s worth going to a good butcher for this, who may well give it to you for free if you’re cheeky enough to ask.




Lardy cake

  • 450g of strong white flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 14g of dried yeast, fast-action
  • 150g of lard, cut into small cubes, plus extra for greasing
  • 300ml of milk, warmed in a saucepan
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 125g of currants
  • 125g of raisins


  • 25cm cake tin


Mix the flour, salt, 1 tbsp of the sugar and the yeast in a large bowl. Add 50g of the lard and rub it into the flour until the lard is no longer visible. Leave the rest of the lard at room temperature to warm up
Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in three-quarters of the warmed milk. Take the flour from the edges into the liquid and mix until the ingredients start to form a dough. Add more milk until your dough leaves the sides of the bowl clean. You may not need it all
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and use the heel of your hand to knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until soft and pliable. Lightly grease a large bowl with lard. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover the top with cling film and leave for 1–2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size
Meanwhile, line a deep 25cm round cake tin with baking parchment and grease lightly
Knock back the dough, then roll it into a rectangle about 1cm thick. Dot one third of the remaining lard over the dough. Stir the mixed spice into the remaining sugar and sprinkle one third over the top of the lard
Scatter over one third of the dried fruit. Press gently with your hands to help the fruit and fragrant sugar stick
With the shorter end of the dough facing you, fold the top third down over the middle, then fold the bottom third up to overlap. Press the edges of the dough to seal in the fruit. Give the dough a quarter turn and roll it out to roughly the same thickness as before. Dot with another third of the lard, the fragrant sugar and the fruit. Fold and roll again twice, adding the remaining lard, sugar and fruit, then shape the dough into the prepared tin
Cover the top of the tin with a clean dish towel and leave to rest again for 30–60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size
Heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before turning out on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold
First published in 2017

Victoria is a London-based food writer and recipe developer. She was the Roald Dahl Museum’s first ever Gastronomic Writer in Residence and has written six books, including her latest, Too Good To Waste.

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