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13 Classic British Cake Recipes

Make Mary Berry proud with these stunning British cake recipes.

From Victoria sponge to tender Christmas cake, these bakes from across the pond never disappoint. 

Traditional British Cake recipes featuring Homemade Victoria Sponge Cake
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13 Traditional British Cakes

Most avid bakers are obsessed with cooking shows, right?

And none are more iconic than The Great British Bake-Off. I count down the days until it’s back!

But while I’m waiting for Paul and the gang to return, I soothe myself in the kitchen. And these British cake recipes are too good to miss out on.

Ready? Set. Bake!

1. Victoria Sponge Cake

I absolutely adore Victoria sponge cake. 

There’s something so satisfying about combining a light, fluffy sponge and a rich, creamy filling. 

The key to getting the perfect texture is to cream the butter and sugar until they’re light and fluffy. 

Most American cakes have heave frosting in the middle. But this one keeps it light with whipped cream and strawberry jam.

2. Battenberg Cake

This stunning bake was first created in 1884.

The flavors were designed to celebrate the marriage of British Princess Victoria and German Prince Louis of Battenberg.

The light sponge is sweet and held together with apricot jam. And the whole thing is covered in marzipan – a German fave!

The cake is so tender, you don’t need any frosting or glaze. Just a nice cup of tea.

3. Parkin Cake

This Northern English cake has a sweet and slightly spicy flavor. And I first had it on Guy Fawkes night under the fireworks!

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Lucky, I know.

It’s kind of like a gingerbread recipe. But they use a mixture of oats, ginger, dark treacle, and nutmeg, so it’s way more complex.

And if you make it ahead, it becomes deliciously sticky.

(Use molasses if you can’t find treacle.)

4. Easy Mincemeat Cake

I recently stumbled onto this cake, and it’s the first thing I’ll make when the holidays arrive.

Mincemeat is a sweet blend of chopped dried fruit, some kind of booze, like brandy, warm spices, and often beef suet.

And you can use it kind of how you’d use pumpkin, banana, or applesauce.

Yes, it has texture, but the concept is the same. And it’ll make a really tasty Christmas cake recipe.

5. Classic Madeira Cake

Madeira cake is a simple sponge with a subtle lemony flavor. 

I like to describe it as the British version of a pound cake. Though it’s not usually as sweet.

That said, it is buttery, and you’ll find it in most grocery stores, just like pound cakes.

Serve it sliced with fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream.

6. Coffee and Walnut Cake

Go to any bake sale, coffee hour, book club, or bakery cafe in the UK, and you’ll see coffee and walnut cake.

The sponge has ground walnuts for moisture and flavor. There’s espresso in there, too, but it’s not overwhelming.

The frosting is all coffee, so if you’re not a fan, this isn’t for you.

7. Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

My taste buds are tingling just thinking about the delicious toffee pudding.

It’s been a favorite of mine for years, and I really hope you take the time to try it.

The cake is slightly dense, with just enough sweetness to balance the intense toffee flavor. 

Best served with lots of British custard, it’s the kind of winter warmer you’ll look forward to all year.

8. Simnel Cake

Simnel cake loaded with fruit and topped with marzipan and apricot jam. 

So it’s essentially Easter’s version of a Christmas cake.

It has a rich, fruity flavor from a combination of dried fruits like currants, raisins, or cranberries. 

But instead of brown sugar and treacle, it’s lighter and has a nice lemony finish.

9. Traditional British Christmas Cake

Speaking of Christmas cake, here’s a recipe you have to try this year!

This rich and decadent dessert is chock-full of fruit, nuts, and spices that blend together seamlessly.

The warm spices beautifully complement the flavors of the currants, raisins, and apricots.

And the cake’s texture is wonderfully dense and moist, thanks to the addition of brandy.

Believe it or not, Brits start these as early as September! That’s right, they make the cakes and feed them with brandy right up until Christmas.

10. Downton Abbey’s Caraway Seed Cake

Were you as addicted to Downtown Abbey as I was? 

Well, as soon as I saw this cake in the TV show, I knew I had to make it. 

It’s the perfect dessert to enjoy during chilly autumn evenings. And you don’t need to be a pro baker to make it.

Even a toddler could do it!

For those who aren’t big fans of caraway seeds, the recipe can easily be substituted with dried currants or raisins.

11. Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Cake

I have always been a fan of sweet and tangy flavors, which is why I love this cake.

It’s the perfect blend of sweetness from the sponge and tartness from the tangy lemon syrup.

And it’s as British as it gets.

12. British Butterfly Cakes

These petite cakes are so simple, yet they pack a big flavor punch.

The delicate cake base and a rich buttercream filling are a win-win combo. 

And to get the fun little wings, all you do is cut the top of the cake off! How fun is that?

13. Traditional Eccles Cakes

I’ve always been a sucker for a good pastry. And traditional Eccles cakes are no exception. 

They’re made with a rich buttery pastry and filled with currants, sugar, and spices.

Trust me; these treats are the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. 

I know that the ingredient list may seem lengthy. But everything has a special place and contributes to the yummy taste and texture.

13 Classic British Cake Recipes

Make Paul Hollywood proud with these stunning British cake recipes. From Victoria sponge to tender Christmas cake, these Bake-Off faves never disappoint. 


  • Victoria Sponge Cake

  • Battenberg Cake

  • Parkin Cake

  • Easy Mincemeat Cake

  • Classic Madeira Cake

  • Coffee and Walnut Cake

  • Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

  • Simnel Cake

  • Traditional British Christmas Cake

  • Downton Abbey’s Caraway Seed Cake

  • Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Cake

  • British Butterfly Cakes

  • Traditional Eccles Cakes


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious British cake in a flash!
British Cake Recipes

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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