Originating from the UK, Rick is a horse lover with a background in journalism. He also enjoys a slice of cake with a nice cup of tea.
Cakes Named After UK Towns
As a Brit, I may be biased—but I believe the United Kingdom has some of the tastiest homemade cakes in the world. Many of them originated hundreds of years ago in small towns around England and Wales. Here are eight of the best.
1. Eccles Cake
The Eccles cake is a delicious snack that originated in the small town of Eccles, just outside of Manchester. Records show that James Birch began making Eccles cakes in a shop opposite Eccles Parish Church in 1796.
These cakes have become so popular that they are now available all around the world. They are made from flaky pasty that is filled with mashed sweet and juicy raisins. The cakes are relatively easy to make; they take around 20 minutes to prepare and just 15 minutes to cook.
2. Welsh Cakes
Welsh cakes are traditional snacks that come from Wales. The recipe has been passed down through generations and is now as popular as ever. They make a tasty treat for children or a great snack for adults, too.
Some people say Welsh cakes taste similar to scones, but the fact is that Welsh cakes are smaller, softer and not as dry as scones. They can also be eaten just as easily without adding butter, jam or cream.
The cakes are flat and sometimes known as bakestones because they are cooked on a flat bakestone. Made from flour, sultanas, and raisins or currants, they may also include spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Their size is usually between 4cm and 6cm in diameter, and they are around 1cm to 1.5cm thick. Several manufacturers produce Welsh cakes to sell in supermarkets and shops around Wales.
3. Bakewell Tart
The Bakewell tart is said to have been created after a chef mixed the wrong recipe and came up the Bakewell pudding. According to the story, this happened at the Rutland Arms in the small town of Bakewell in the Derbyshire Dales region of England.
The tart is made from shortcrust pastry filled with a sponge cake filling, a layer of jam and an egg and almond filling. This is then topped with white fondant icing. On top the fondant is a red cherry, also giving the cakes the name of cherry tarts.
These sweet tarts have become very popular throughout the United Kingdom and they are manufactured by several large cake producers including Mr Kipling. They can be produced as small cupcakes or as larger cakes.
4. Bath Buns
The Bath bun hails from the spa town of Bath, in the southwest of England. Fascinatingly, they were intended to be eaten in the bath!
The buns date back to 1763. They were first made by Dr W. Oliver, an 18th-century physician who treated visitors—including Queen Victoria of England—at the famous Bath Spa. The spa waters which flowed from underground were said to heal patients of many ailments. Dr Oliver's bun proved so popular, and his patients grew so fat, that he had to invent a plain biscuit for his patients to eat instead. This was called the Bath Oliver biscuit. The chunks of sugar sprinkled on the top of this otherwise rather plain bun were originally sugar-coated caraway seeds.
Today these buns are still produced in the Bath region.
5. London Cheesecake
The London cheesecake is a delicious cake that is found mainly in bakeries in London. It is totally unique and should not be confused with the other type of cheesecake.
Why it is called cheesecake is a bit of a mystery as it doesn't actually contain any cheese, but it's probably because the shredded coconut resembles grated cheese.
This cake has a flaky pastry base topped with icing that's full of shredded coconut. Sometimes the cake also incorporates sweet strawberry or raspberry jam filling.
Without a doubt this is one of England's finest cakes. However, it is yet to be mass produced by a large bakery, and for that reason it is available only in local bakeries in London where family recipes have often been handed down and perfected through the generations.
Another slice of London cheese cake, guv'nor? Lovely jubbly!
6. Chelsea Buns
The London borough of Chelsea may currently be world-famous for its football team, Chelsea FC. But there was a time when Chelsea was most famous for something else: its buns.
The buns themselves originated from the Chelsea Bun House, which was situated near Pimlico in central London. The famous author Johnathan Swift visited the shop in 1711 to buy a plain bun. In the shop's 18th-century heyday it was run by Richard Hand and owned by George II and Queen Charlotte. Charles Dickens, author of Hard Times and A Christmas Carol, even visited the shop and mentions the shop in the books Barnaby Rudge and Bleak House.
A local poet said the buns were ''Fragrant as honey and sweeter in taste! As flaky and white as if baked by the light, As the flesh of an infant soft, doughy and slight.''
The Chelsea bun is actually one of the few UK cakes to contain a strong cinnamon kick. They are square and made from a deep roll of raisin-spotted dough. They can be enjoyed in the traditional way or by unrolling the spiral.
7. Chorley Cake
Chorley cakes originate from the small town of Chorley in Lancashire. Like the Eccles cake, which comes from a nearby town, the Chorley cake is full of raisins. The only difference is in the pastry which is less flaky and more like a biscuit.
8. Tottenham Sponge
The Tottenham sponge comes from Tottenham, a town in North London. Today this is the home of the famous football team Tottenham Hotspurs FC.
This sponge cake topped with jam and occasionally sprinkled with desiccated coconut flakes just like the London cheesecake. This is a rare cake that is usually found only in local bakeries around London.
Desserts Named After Towns Outside the UK
There are many more well known cakes that are named after the places where they originated. Here's a selection of those cakes and a brief description of each one.
- Battenberg cake: The Battenberg cake comes from the town of Battenberg in Germany. This cake is famous for its light sponge decorated in a pink and yellow check pattern. Apricot jam separates each part of coloured sponge. The whole cake is then coated in marzipan. Battenberg cakes are said to have been baked to honour the marriage of one of Queen Victoria's granddaughters to Prince Louis of Battenberg in 1884. Each of the four squares is said to represent one of the Battenberg princes.
- Madeira cake: The Madeira cake is a very plain type of cake that is named after the Portuguese island of Madeira. The sponge cake has a firm but light texture and is traditionally flavoured with lemon. Butter or jam is often spread onto slices of the cake before they are eaten.
- Portuguese egg tarts: Also called pastel de nata, these are similar to popular custard tarts, but they are a bit smaller and have a chewy, flaky pastry base. These tarts are also feature a caramelised topping rather than a nutmeg topping. Hailing from Portugal, these tarts are very popular there as well as in Macau and many parts of Asia.
- Belgian buns: Hailing from Belgium, these buns are made from a sweet yeast dough, and they contain sultanas. This is then topped with fondant icing and half a glazed cherry. The buns are very sweet and taste great with a cup of hot tea.
- Danish pastries: From Denmark, these confections feature a moist, chewy and heavy pastry. There are several varieties and shapes. The simplest is the fruit Danish, which is a swirl of pastry with raisins. The custard Danish, the apricot Danish and the apple Danish come in different shapes. These flavours are shaped by folding two corners of a square of pastry and having them meet in the middle.
Even More Foods Named After Places
- 20 Foods You Might Not Know Were Named After Places
Wines and cheeses aren't the only foods that can be traced back to a place on the map.
- 8 Foods That Are Named After Cities or Regions
There are many foods in the world that are named after the places where they originated from. In fact, when it comes to naming a speciality dish, that is one of the most common ways for it to get its name.