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Lardy Cake

Image of Lardy Cake

Makes 1 Large Loaf

450g/1lb/4 cups unbleached white bread flour
5ml/1 tsp salt
15g/˝oz/1 tbsp lard (shortening)
25g/1oz/2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
20g/ľoz fresh yeast
300ml/˝ pint/1Ľ cups lukewarm water

For the filling

75g/3oz/6 tbsp lard (shortening)
75g/3oz/6 tbsp soft light brown sugar
115g/4oz/˝ cup currants, slightly warmed
75g/3oz/˝ cup sultanas (golden raisins), slightly warmed
25g/1oz/3 tbsp mixed chopped (candied) peel
5ml/1 tsp mixed (apple pie) spice

For the glaze

10ml/2 tsp sunflower oil
15-30ml/1-2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar


1. Grease a 25 x 20cm/10 x 8in shallow roasting pan. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and rub in the lard. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre.

2. In a bowl, cream the yeast with half of the water, then blend in the remainder. Add to the centre of the flour and mix to a smooth dough.

3. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled clear film (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

4. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knock back (punch down) until collapsed. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Roll into a rectangle about 5mm/¼in thick.

5. Using half the lard for the filling, cover the top two-thirds of the dough with flakes of lard. Sprinkle over half the sugar, half the dried fruits and peel and half the mixed spice. Fold the bottom third up and the top third down, sealing the edges with the rolling pin.

6. Turn the dough by 90 degrees. Repeat the rolling and cover with the remaining lard, fruit and peel and mixed spice. Fold, seal and turn as before. Roll out the dough to fit the prepared pan. Cover with lightly oiled clear film and leave to rise, in a warm place, for 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in size.

7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Brush the top of the lardy cake with sunflower oil and sprinkle with caster sugar.

8. Score a cross-cross pattern on top using a sharp knife, then bake for 30-40 minutes until golden. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm, cut into slices or squares.

Energy 3474Kcal/14663kj; Protein 47.7g; Carbohydrate 630.3g of which sugars 287.4g; Fat 101.9g of which saturates 37.9g; Cholesterol 84mg; Calcium 888mg; Fibre 18.8g; Sodium 2080mg

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