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A little bit of Lardy Cake

Posted on 28th April 2017

There are many unique recipes to each county, whether that is Sticky Toffee Pudding from the Lake District or Bakewell tarts from Derbyshire. Wiltshire is famed for a more calorific – and very delicious – cake that is tied to the county’s history and economy.

Traditional Lardy Cakes

Though many counties lay claim to the origin of the Lardy Cake, Wiltshire’s history of pig farming, its biggest town named to this effect (Swindon) all points towards the Lardy cake beginning in the county. The lard necessary for the Lardy Cake is a natural by-product of pig farming and its high energy content means this sweet bread would have been popular at harvest time to see the field workers through their strenuous days. However, initially the luxury items included in this bread (such as sugar and dried fruits) would have ensured that Lardy Cakes would have been celebration cakes and eaten only on special occasions.

Though many old recipes have fallen to the wayside as the modern palate evolves, the Lardy Cake remains a well-liked choice of patisserie and still appears at the summer garden parties in Buckingham Palace as well as in many local bakeries. As with any recipe, that of the Lardy Cake has been personalised, and while the original may have consisted of little more than lard, dough and sugar, nowadays each bakery adds a pinch or two of something to their own family recipes.

Whether you can’t wait to stay in your Wiltshire holiday cottage or are looking for a cultural bun to whet your traditional appetites, the Lardy cake is perfect for any setting, so why not take a look at this recipe from Alison at Dragons and Fairy Dust.

When considering making Lardy cake, Alison recommends “not to be scared, the recipe is really easy to make but it does take time. Set aside the time for it to rise properly and don’t rush it. The finished product is worth the wait.”

Check out Alison’s recipe here or enjoy a slice of historic Wiltshire at Marshall’s Bakery, which is famed for its Lardy cakes and has shops in Royal Wootton Bassett and Pewsey.

Image Credit: Clint Budd (Flickr)