Marie Antoinette, eighteenth-century Dauphine of France, is famous for her response to news that her people were starving: “Let them eat cake”. But the Brits, cake lovers that we are, never needed telling, and have been enjoying them for centuries.
To mark Craft Bakers’ Week – which celebrates UK high street bakeries and ends this Sunday - a survey has come up with a list of Britain’s favourite local bakes.
Pollsters from OnePoll asked 2,000 adults for their favourite regional bake, and ranked each product according to the number of votes it received.
On a national level, the Eccles Cake came out on top, just ahead of the Bakewell Pudding and Bakewell Tart in joint second place. Together they took nearly 25 per cent of the vote, with the Chelsea Bun coming third.
Take a look at our gallery for a full selection of these regional delights.
The UK's favourite cakes
The UK's favourite cakes
1/8 Eccles Cake
Britain’s most popular regional bake originates from the small town of Eccles, near Manchester. These ‘dead fly pies’ – so called due to the appearance of the currants – were first sold commercially by James Birch in 1793.
2/8 Bakewell Tart
Legend says that the first Bakewell Tart was made by accident. Apparently, the cook at the Rutland Arms pub in Bakewell messed up a strawberry tart she was making by adding the egg mixture on top of the jam.
3/8 Bakewell Pudding
In joint second place, the history of the Bakewell Pudding is disputed, but it is generally thought that the original version dates back to Tudor times. Packed with eggs, butter, milk, pounded almonds, sugar and breadcrumbs, it is luxurious enough to suit any nobleman’s banquet.
4/8 Chelsea Bun
It is obvious why this came in the top three - sticky and sweet, and fresh out of the oven with a sprinkling of sugar, the Chelsea Bun is hard to beat. These currant buns were first created in the eighteenth century in the south London borough it is named after.
5/8 Yorkshire Curd Tart
Probably the closest Britain gets to a native cheesecake; curd tarts were traditionally made around Whitsuntide – the seventh Sunday after Easter – from left-over curds from the cheese making process.
6/8 Dundee Cake
A marmalade company, Keiller’s, were the first people to mass-produce this rich fruit cake, which is typically decorated with almonds. According to legend, Mary Queen of Scots asked for this cake to be invented because she did not like glace cherries, which topped traditional fruit cakes.
7/8 Yorkshire Tea Cake
This fruit cake should be enjoyed with a good cuppa – Yorkshire Tea of course. It should not be confused with the teacake, a round bun which is usually cooked in a toaster.
8/8 Lardy Cake
These rich raisin and sultana bakes are native to the South West. As they are very fatty, the Lardy Cake is traditionally reserved for special occasions, such as holidays and harvest festivals.