What are my special features?

The Goosnargh Cake is a circular biscuit which is 80mm in diameter, 10mm deep and can weigh around 50g. It is off-white in colour, speckled with caraway seeds and has a thick coating of fine sugar. The biscuit has a fine, short texture and a buttery taste which is balanced by the fragrant caraway seeds.

Goosnargh cakes are produced using the following ingredients: flour, butter and sugar in the proportions of 6:4:1 as well as the addition of ground coriander and caraway seeds. The butter, sugar and spices are creamed, the flour is rubbed in and the mixture is pressed into a coherent dough without any liquid. The dough is rolled out and cut into rounds with a plain cutter. The biscuits are sprinkled thickly with caster sugar and are left to stand for at least 2 hours before being baked at 140°c for 30-40 minutes. The cakes should be firm and remain very pale.

What is my history?

Goosnargh is a village in the North of Preston, Lancashire. Goosnargh cakes were often called `Goosnargh´ without further qualification. The origin of the Goosnargh cake is relatively unknown. Goosnargh cakes have a similar texture to short-bread, the ancestors of which were popular within Britain during the 16th and 17th centuries, also a time when whole caraway seeds were a common ingredient in biscuit and cake recipes. In the 1880s, records hint to the Goosnargh cake being linked to the religious festival of Whitsuntide.

Why am I forgotten?

The high butter content was problematic during wartime causing Goosnargh cakes to be rationed. In recent years, Goosnargh cakes are being made again and the old preference for caraway spicing, often jettisoned by the modern baker has been continued. However, there is no longer a link with the festival of Whitsuntide.

Don’t lose me… cook me!