Twenty British Dessert Foods With Weird Names

Bakewell Tart on a Plate
Creative Commons
  • 01 of 20

    What's in a Name?

    British cupcakes
    Public Domain Pictures

    There's a lot in a name, but the weird sounding names for British dessert foods tend to be the exception to the rule. Usually food names sound appealing or create a sense of anticipation, such as apple pie, treacle sponge and rich fruit cake. But British dishes often require that you guess what the food is. For example, do you know what a Singin' Hinny is? How about laver cakes? Both are, in fact, quite delicious, but their names don't necessarily reflect that.

    Many of these weird and...MORE wonderful names for British foods have been handed down over the centuries. Some come from local dialects, while others are just imaginative. With this list, get the facts about some of the weirdest sounding cakes, puddings and biscuits in the United Kingdom.

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  • 02 of 20

    Spotted Dick

    The Ultimate Spotted Dick Pudding. Elaine Lemm

    ​The name of this classic English pudding usually results in a smile or look of horror, which is why some people prefer the dish's alternative name, “Spotted Dog Pudding.” The spotted part of the name supposedly refers to the raisins and currants in the dough. The word "dick" is a colloquial word for pudding originating from the antiquated "puddick" or "puddog." 

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  • 03 of 20

    Singin' Hinnies

    Singin' Hinnies
    Getty Images

    These lovely, sweet griddle cakes are a delight. Hinney is how "honey" is pronounced in Northeast England. It is also a term of endearment for women and children. The singing part of the name describes how the cakes are cooked in a hot flat griddle pan. As they hit the pan, the butter and lard starts to sizzle and sing.

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  • 04 of 20

    Barm Brack

    Barm Brack, close-up
    Barm Brack, close-up. Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

    Brack is one of Ireland's most famous bakery products. The name comes from "breac," which means speckled and refers to the fruit in the loaf. Brack is traditionally eaten at Halloween but is too delicious to save for just once a year. Eat it at tea time or as part of your St. Patrick's Day celebrations. 

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  • 05 of 20


    Scottish Tablet. Getty

    This sweet doesn't refer to an electric device you can write on, as its name implies. Instead, it is a Scottish candy, much like fudge. Scottish tablet contains sugar, butter and condensed milk and is very easy to make. 

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  • 06 of 20


    Scottish Cranachan
    Scottish Cranachan. Getty

    Cranachan is not quite a trifle, but it's similar. It is a Scottish dessert often served at celebrations such as Christmas or Burns Night. The pudding contains raspberries, oats, cream, honey and a dash of Scotch whisky.

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  • 07 of 20


    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin
    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin. Getty

    Parkin is the Northern English form of gingerbread, distinguished by where and how it is made. The most well known is Yorkshire Parkin, which traditionally is eaten on Nov. 5, known as Bonfire Night. The event celebrates the famous failure of Yorkshire's Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

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  • 08 of 20

    Bara Brith

    Bara Brith Cake
    Bara Brith Cake. Elaine Lemm

    No Welsh afternoon tea would be complete without this delicious fruity tea bread. Bara Brith literally means speckled bread.

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  • 09 of 20


    British Hobnob Biscuits. Elaine Lemm

    A Hobnob is a biscuit (cookie) which also was voted one of the top ten of Britain's favourite biscuits. They are made commercially but making your own is so much fun and produces a hearty biscuit. 

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  • 10 of 20

    Eccles Cake

    Eccles Cakes
    Eccles Cakes. Judith Doyle/Flickr

    First made in North West England in 1793, eccles cake is a small flat pastry filled with dried fruits and spices.

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  • 11 of 20

    Eton Mess

    Traditional British Eton Mess
    Traditional British Eton Mess. Photo Elaine Lemm

    Eton mess is a mixture of strawberries, meringue and cream traditionally served at Eton College. It's unclear how it first got the name. According to one story, a Labrador dog sat on a picnic basket in the back of a car and squashed a strawberry and meringue dessert.

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  • 12 of 20


    Scotch Pancakes
    Scotch Pancakes. Getty Images

    Crempog are Welsh pancakes. They are different from the traditional British pancake eaten on Pancake Day. Crempog are thicker, slightly risen and cooked on a griddle - not unlike American pancakes. They are quick and easy to make. You can eat them at tea time or for breakfast.

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  • 13 of 20

    Fat Rascals

    Yorkshire Fat Rascals
    Flickr / French Tart

    fat rascal is a rather obese-looking scone made famous by Bettys cafe tea rooms in Harrogate. The recipe is a closely guarded secret. However, there are versions found all over England.

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  • 14 of 20

    Hevva Cake

    Welsh Hevva Cakes
    Wikimedia Commons

    Cornish Hevva Cake is steeped in the tradition of pilchard fishing in the county. It is a hefty thick, flat cake made of lard, margarine and flour. It is filled with sugar and currants.

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  • 15 of 20

    Dead Man's Leg

    Jam Roly Polly
    Public Domain Pictures

    Dead Man's Leg (also known as Dead Man's Arm or Jam Roly Poly) is the shape and texture of the log-shaped suet roll. Hence, it is compared to a dead man's limbs.

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  • 16 of 20

    Huffkin Huffkins

    British tea and tea buns
    Wikimedia Commons

    Huffkin Huffkins are also known as Kentish Huffkin, where this bread-like bun is from. The bun differs from a traditional tea or bread cake, as it has a little lard in the mixture. The bread bun can be eaten filled with meat or with fruits, such as Kent's cherries.

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  • 17 of 20

    Black Bun

    Black Bun is a traditional Scottish treat eaten at Hogmanay (New Years Eve). It is a dense, rich dish made of dried fruits wrapped in pastry. The filling looks almost black; hence the name.

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  • 18 of 20

    Dorset Knobs

    Dorset knobs are doughy dry buns with a little added sugar and butter. Traditionally the Dorset knob is eaten with cheese.

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  • 19 of 20

    Ecclefechan Tart

    Ecclefechan tart is a dried, fruit-filled sweet tart. The name comes from the village of Ecclefechan in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Southern Scotland. The tart is also known as border tart, which is lovely but not as endearing as Ecclefechan.

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  • 20 of 20

    Sussex Pond Pudding

    Sussex pond pudding is a suet pastry pudding made with lemon, butter and sugar. The pudding is then steamed for several hours, which creates a lovely pool of thick lemony sauce when cut.