Fat rascal

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Fat rascal
Fat Rascal cookies (cropped).jpg
Fat Rascals at Bettys Cafe Tearooms
Alternative names Turf cake (historical)
Type Cake/biscuit
Place of origin United Kingdom
Region or state Yorkshire
Main ingredients Currants and candied peel
Cookbook:Fat rascal  Fat rascal

A fat rascal, is a type of cake, the recipe for which has changed over time. It originated in Yorkshire at least as early as the 1800s.


Fat rascals were known in the Yorkshire region in the nineteenth century as a form of tea cake containing butter and cream.[1] In the early twentieth century fat rascal was a name used in Yorkshire to describe a turf cake, that is a simple buttery flat cake baked in a covered pan among the ashes of a peat fire.[2] A 1980 Yorkshire cookbook described fat rascals as a means of using leftover pastry, typically consisting of scraps of shortcrust pastry, sugared, sprinkled with currants and rolled into thick flat cakes before baking.[3] Fat rascals, whatever their composition, do not appear to have been known outside the Yorkshire region until the 1980s.


A widely recognised version of the Fat Rascal was introduced by Bettys Café Tea Rooms in North Yorkshire in 1983. This is a plump, fruity scone with a ‘face’ made from cherries and almonds based on a rock cake recipe, developed by Helen Frankel, then a buyer and marketing assistant at Bettys. Following its launch, the Fat Rascal quickly became Bettys’ best known and best-selling bakery product.[4] Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate own the registered trade mark for the name 'fat rascal'.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fat Rascals". The Foods of England Project. Retrieved 2013-12-14. The origin of the name is obscure, it is known in this context at least since the 1855 Glossary of Yorkshire Words and Phrases Collected in Whitby and the Neighbourhood of 1855 where the definition of 'Spice Cake' is given as; "tea cakes with currants as well as cakes more generally, known as plum cakes for which this quarter is famous. The tea cakes made rich with butter and cream are called fat rascals." 
  2. ^ http://www.foodsofengland.co.uk/turfcakes.htm
  3. ^ Moore, Mary Hanson (1980). A Yorkshire Cookbook. David & Charles Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7153-7892-2. 
  4. ^ Bettys, on average, sell over 375,000 Fat Rascals per year – Bettys & Taylors Group Ltd
  5. ^ http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tmcase/Results/1/UK00002486947