The UK according to cakes and biscuits

Food and Drink

Posted by Hannah on 20th August 2019

Here in the UK we’re lovers of something sweet — whether that be a mid-afternoon snack, an accompaniment to our tea or something after dinner. There rarely seems a time when a cake or biscuit wouldn’t suffice.

These delicious treats are signatures of not only the UK itself but the different countries and regions that help make Great Britain, great!

Take the classic Scottish shortbread. It began life as scraps from a medieval “biscuit bread”, twice baked. It now takes place as a culinary icon — delicious, buttery and sweet.

Or how about Parkin, a regional ginger cake of Yorkshire? It’s well known for its dark brown colour and fiery flavour — a particular favourite to be served on the 5th of November, Bonfire night.

Whatever your sweet of choice, we’ve got the favourites listed in our new infographic, broken down by their area and main flavours, from the classic cream tea of Cornwall to Grasmere ginger shortbread, a traditional Lake District treat. Careful though, that diet might be out the window after having a read of this!


  1. Johnson, B. Scottish shortbread. (
  2. Cloake, F. (2016). How to make the perfect millionaire's shortbread. (
  3. Dictionary of the Scots Language (2005). Empire biscuit. (
  4. Cloake, F. (2014). How to make the perfect tablet. (
  5. Mathie, J. (1998). Scottish Teatime Recipes.
  6. Walkers. Queen of Cake: The history of the Dundee cake and other Scottish specialty cakes. (
  7. Gillan, A. (2016). The strange case of the Tunnock's teacakes. (
  8. Lemm, E. (2017). Classic Scottish tipsy laird trifle recipe. (
  9. Northern Irish Connections. Northern Irish Connections fifteens recipe. (
  10. Allen, R. (2015). Rachel Allen’s Barmbrack (báirín breac) recipe. (
  11. European Cuisines. Ireland: porter cake. (
  12. European Cuisines. Ireland: Irish whiskey cake. (
  13. Welsh Cakes. History of Tan y Castell: Welsh cakes. (
  14. Aberffraw Biscuits. Croeso, "welcome", to Aberffraw Biscuit Co. (
  15. Romney's. Welcome to Romney's. (
  16. Lancashire Eccles Cakes. The origins of Eccles cakes. (
  17. Green Chronicle. British recipes: cakes. (
  18. Duff, J. (2015). Cakes: Regional and Traditional. (
  19. Gazzard, C. (2015). The history of pastry. (
  20. Bakewell Online. The Bakewell Pudding. (
  21. Oakden. Yorkshire parkin. (
  22. Betty's. Fat Rascals. (
  23. Grasmere Gingerbread. What is Grasmere gingerbread. (
  24. The Foods of England. London buns or Johnny cakes. (
  25. BBC. Lardy cake recipes. (
  26. Green Chronicle. British recipes: biscuits. (
  27. Green Chronicle. British recipes: Maidstone biscuits. (
  28. Haringey Council. Tottenham cake. (

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.