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Top 10 Traditional British Cakes


Us Britains have a lot to say about cake, we genuinely love our bakery products and can’t help having a cake for almost every occasion. Whether it’s having a classic scone for afternoon tea, our fruit cake at Christmas, or even our ridiculously large wedding cakes, no matter what the celebration, we have cake. Britsh and baking have come hand in hand for centuries with new bakery products and cakes coming out all the time which were only for the country’s elites. However, some have lost their name, and some have just been downright disgusting, but some have held their heads up high and made it to the 21st century and have been labeled traditionally British. In this blog, we will go through the top ten traditional British cakes of all time. Just FYI, you will be hungry at the end of this so let’s get stuck in.

Top 10 most popular cakes to bake in the UK Tenable

Carrot Cake

Many historians believe that carrots were first used as a sweetener for cakes and pudding in the 10th century. Not by Brits, but actually from Arabian chefs where they could not afford the luxuriously expensive honey so instead used carrots to bring their sweet treats to life. Fast forward a couple of hundred years to World War II and this is where the carrot cake came to be one of England’s most humble beginnings. Rationing was essential living back then so they tried many different bakes and ingredients but turned to the root vegetable to help with our unhealthy cake addiction which back then, never had a cream cheese topping, no, that came from our friends across the pond in the USA which is how we all know and love the classic carrot cake today.

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Nothing says British afternoon tea more than a warm scone, layered with thick clotted cream and strawberry jam, oh and don’t forget the tea whilst we are at it. Although this screams British culture, it is a reminiscence of the Scottish bannock, a quick bread that was grilled over an open flame. The term Scone was named after a town in Scotland called Scone where Scottish kings were crowned. Although this is a Scottish cake, it is surely loved throughout the United Kingdom.

Warm scone cake

Victoria Sponge

Also known as the Victoria Sandwich cake, is one of the most famous and staple cakes to be known to any respectable cake enthusiast in Britain. You simply could get a more British cake, it was even named after Queen Victoria herself. The sponge first came to the scene in the 19th century for its afternoon tea. Where the country’s elites had sophisticated conversations and had a series of delicate finger foods and thick slabs of cake. This is definitely a classic that won’t be going anywhere for centuries to come.

Chelsea Bun

chelsea bun

No, this is not the same as a cinnamon roll from the Scandinavian regions, this is a Chelsea bun, made in the 18th century in the Chelsea Bun House in London. This was genuinely a place where you could buy buns. It was most famous for its Chelsea buns and its hot cross buns in easter. It was made of cinnamon, lemon peel, allspice, and aromatic spices which are covered in a light sugar icing that is different from the cinnamon roll as they have a thick slathering of cream cheese icing on them.

Madeira Cake


Although the Madeira cake doesn’t sound British, it actually is. It was first named after the island of Madeira in Portugal where they made delicious dessert wines which the cake was designed to accompany. Although we Brits love a stiff drink after work and sometimes even brunch, we don’t want to be drinking wine all day so we adopted the methods behind it. Eliza Acton created a book in 1845 that resembled this delicious treat, which then became part of British culture.


I know we said top 10 British cakes but this is another staple piece for the afternoon tea combination. This Scottish biscuit first came to life in 1736 where it made an appearance in one of Britain’s oldest and most famous cookery and pastry books from Mrs. McLintock. It was loved by Mary Queen of Scots and was eaten by the dozen throughout Scotland.

Short Bread Cake

Eccles Cake

Eccles Cake

The Eccles cake is definitely an acquired taste, chances are if you aren’t the biggest fan of currants or raisins, then this is not the sweet treat for you. Eccles is a small town in Greater Manchester and is where the Eccles cake had its humble beginnings. The Eccles cake is simply a flaky pastry that has been packed full of raisins and currants and then cooked until golden with a sprinkle of sugar crystals on top and the inside has combined. This was always found on a school dinner tray and ended up in the bin, but those who love it, really love it.

Welsh Cake

We have spoken about one country within the United Kingdom, so let’s bring the Welsh cake from the other. This is very similar to the scone, but you won’t need any cream and jam for these as they are sweet enough. They have a slightly crispy outer layer and a fluffy inner which makes them simply delicious. This amazing cake is also filled with raisins, sultanas, and currants which go great with a brew.

Battenberg Cake

Battenberg Cake Traditional British Cake

This cake is known all around the world for its delicious taste and beautiful coloring. It simply is a British staple food that makes an appearance at afternoon tea, friends visiting for a brew, or even modest celebrations. The Battenberg cake first appeared for Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria’s wedding celebrations in 1884. The delicious cake is not an easy task to make and should probably be left to the professionals with its pastel-colored chequerboard pattern on the inside which is wrapped in sweet marzipan.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky toffee pudding may not scream tradition like the rest, but this sweet treat is definitely a favorite of British people. This cake was designed and came to popularity in the ’70s in the Lake District. The deliciously sweet sponge mixed with a series of dates and golden syrup was inspired by American muffins. There are only two ways to do this right, and that is with an unhealthy amount of custard or ice cream. This will surely be more traditional in a couple of centuries.

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