Great British Bake Off: Eat your way around the UK on the ultimate cake scoffing road trip

In celebration of the hit cooking show, we embark on a foodie adventure and track down the birthplaces of the UK's delicious cakes. Here's exactly where you can taste 10 of our favourites in their original settings...

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Sadly the baking catastrophes, soggy bases, chocolate wizardry and tumbling towers of sugary goodness have come to an end. But our baking obsessions don’t have to end there.

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In celebration of the show, we’ve created a road trip that will make you very happy, if not a little fat. We’ve tracked down the best places to try some of the best British cakes ever created, so you can indulge in recipes passed down for generations in their original settings.

Now, if you were to do our whole cake tasting road trip in one go, you’d be looking at around 32 hours of straight driving, over approximately 2000 miles. However, it’s perfectly do-able on a week’s holiday and there’s no better way to see the great British countryside in all its glory than with a belly full of cake. Read on to whet your appetite… 

1. Dundee cake, Scotland

This hearty, filling fruitcake is rich in flavour, has been around since the 19th century and is usually made with currants, sultanas and almonds. Fruit peel can be added too, for an extra kick.

Where to try them: T Ann Cake on Dundee’s Exchange Street is a trendy haunt, selling well made traditional recipes including Dundee cake (phone in advance as menus change frequently), t-ann-cake.blogspot.co.uk


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2. Scones, Scotland

Made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, the famous hunks of cake were originally larger, flat and round. Now they’ve evolved into something smaller and fatter, and are often flavoured with raisins, even dates or cheese. Potato scones are served with a Scottish breakfast and in England with a traditional cream tea (served with jam and clotted cream).

Where to try them: Indulge in a typical British tea, with freshly made sandwiches, mini pasties and scones with all the trimmings at etaket’s tea rooms on Frederick St, Edinburgh, eteaket.co.uk, or try savory scones with haggis at The City Café in Blair Street, Edinburgh, thecitycafe.co.uk


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3. Fat Rascal, Yorkshire

Otherwise known as a turf cake or a Yorkshire tea biscut, this rough round dollop is made with currants and candied fruit peel. Some pleople like to add Glacé cherries and blanched almonds to the top.

Where to try them: The world famous Betty’s Cafe & Tea Rooms is a great place to try these beauties. It even does a chocolate and orange mini variety. Find it at St Helen’s Square, bettys.co.uk


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4. Bakewell tart, Derbyshire Dales

The original version has short crust pastry and a layer of jam between two slices of almond sponge. However, the most common version is, of course, the cherry Bakewell, topped with thick icing and half a glacé cherry, made famous by Mr Kipling.

Where to try them: Baked Derby serves a Bakewell slice how it’s supposed to be cooked – the traditional way. Find it on The Strand in Derby, baked-derby.com


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5. Chelsea bun, Chelsea

These swirly, spiced yeast dough treats derive from a historic recipe created in the 18th century at the Bun House, Chelsea. This sweet treat is made of dough flavoured with lemon peel and cinnamon and encases various fruits from chopped sultanas to cranberries, slathered in icing.

Where to try them: The Flour Station in London’s Borough Market, is a good bet. Its sells a number of freshly made artisan breads and pastries too, theflourstation.com


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6. Welsh cakes, Wales

Also known as bakestones, as they were traditionally cooked on a bakestone iron griddle, Welsh cakes are thick and circular, with a cinnamon and nutmeg kick. They combine flour with raisins, sultanas and currants.

Where to try them: Maddocks’ Tea Room based at the Gower, Swansea, sells three different varieties of the famous fluffy mounds – sultanas, currants and whisky flavoured, cakesfromwales.com


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7. Saffron cake, Cornwall

This 100-year-old recipe creates a spiced yeast-leavened cake, flavoured with saffron and nutmeg and cooked in a square tin. The same ingredients can also make teacakes, otherwise known as tea treat buns. Apparently, these cakes were once cooked on sycamore leaves.

Where to try them: Berrymans Bakery was recently awarded a bronze award for its saffron cakes, try them at Berrymans Perranporth, cornish-pasty.co.uk


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8. Eccles cakes, Lancashire

Believed to originate from the little village of Eccles (which is no longer in Lancashire proper, since a border change it is now in Greater Manchester) these distinctive flat patties with flaky pastry and a currant centre are also referred to as squashed fly cakes or flies’ graveyards, due to the way they look. Not the most flattering of names, but this doesn’t detract from their deliciousness.

Where to try them: Pebbys Bakery is a proper traditional English bakery located in the main square in Great Eccleston, fill up on local cakes here (01995 671205) or try the very similar Chorley cakes at Hall’s Bakery, in Chorley proper, hallsbakery.co.uk


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9. Banbury cakes, Oxfordshire

These puff pastry oval cakes with their spicy currant centres originate from, yes you’ve guessed it, Banbury. They have a similar flavour to Eccles cakes, yet are puffier and sprinkled with cane sugar before baking.

Where to try them: The Banesberie Coffee Shop has a nice little patio from which to enjoy a famous Banbury cake, find it at 10 Butchers Row, Banbury, OX16 5JH. 


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10. Lardy cake, Wiltshire

Yes, that’s right, it’s made of lard. But don’t let that put you off. Warm or cold, this recipe is filling and deliciously sweet. West Country local bakers still continue to make this olde recipe, which is usually eaten on special occasions or in the winter, when the extra calories are needed.

Where to try them: Marshalls Bakery in Pewsey has developed quite a reputation for its Lardy cakes. People drive out of their way to savor particular recipe, and lardy cake addicts order regular batches online, they are that good. Find it in Pewsey, marshallsbakery.co.uk


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