Gur cake

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Gur cake
Gur cake.jpg
A piece of gur cake
Place of originRepublic of Ireland
Region or stateDublin
Main ingredientsShortcrust pastry, cake crumbs, tea, orange juice, cinnamon, ginger, caster sugar

Gur cake is a pastry confection traditionally associated with Dublin, Ireland.[1] Known as chester cake in other areas,[2] and gudge or donkey's gudge in Cork,[3][4] it is similar to what is termed flies graveyard in parts of the UK, and consists of a thick layer of filling between two thin layers of pastry.[5] The filling is a dark brown paste, containing a mixture of cake/bread crumbs, dried fruits (sultana raisins etc.), and a sweetener/binder.[6] It has traditionally been a cheap confection, made from bakery leftovers.

Its name is thought to be a contraction of "gurrier cake".[7] Children who skipped school were known as gurriers and the act of skipping school became known as to be 'on the gur'. As Gur cake was made of leftovers, it was one of the cheaper item in bakeries and, therefore, one of the few items affordable to a child 'on the gur'.[8]

In bakeries, it is typically sold cut into squares of about 8 cm by 3 cm thick.

In Dublin, Gur cake is regarded as symbolic of working-class areas, being highlighted in books such as Gur Cake and Coal Blocks (1976) by historian Éamonn Mac Thomáis.[9]


  1. ^ Caitríona Redmond (2014-04-10). "Why Gur Cake needs EU Designated Status". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
  2. ^ Cynthia Nelson (2010-06-12). "I like Chester Cake". Stabroek News. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  3. ^ "Donkey's Gudge - Cork Slang Dictionary Entry". Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Diana's Recipe Book - Gur Cake". Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  5. ^ Biddy White-Lennon (2003). Best of Irish Home Baking. O'Brien Press. ISBN 9780862788070.
  6. ^ "Gur Cake". Odlums. Archived from the original on 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  7. ^ Caitríona Redmond (2014-04-10). "Why Gur Cake needs EU Designated Status". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
  8. ^ "GurCake". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  9. ^ Éamonn Mac Thomáis (1976). Gur Cake and Coal Blocks. O'Brien Press. ISBN 9780905140070.