Old English Lake District Traditional Recipes

by Veronica

Whilst staying a few days in the English Lake District this week, I started a search for traditional Lakeland food and fayre.

The English Lake District comprises the of the former English counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and North Lancashire and parts of Yorkshire. The main county is now called Cumbria.

The food is varied and the proximity to Scotland and also the west coast British ports has shaped some very interesting and varied foods. Spices feature strongly in Lakeland cooking because of the west coast trade.

I shall be adding to this page as frequently as possible.

Lake District

Lake District - A S Scotland - B ; and N Ireland. - C


unusual varities of apples
unusual varities of apples

I hadn't  hard of these varieties of apples before. They include Nelson apples and Desmond.

Westmorland Crundle

I saw this on the menu many years ago at The Cross Keys Temperance Inn near Sedbergh, Cumbria. I hadn't heard of it before.


4 ozs of plain flour,

two eggs,

one pint of milk,

one tablespoonful of castor sugar,

2 ozs butter.

Pour  boiling  milk over flour and butter,cover, and let it go cold..   Beat  until smooth, add sugar and eggs and bake in a hot oven for 60 minutes.

Serve hot

Lake District lemon and spice cake

Lake District lemon and spice cake

8 oxs self raising flour

8 ozs soft butter

8 ozs sugar

tsp cinnamon

tsp ginger

3 eggs beaten

juice of 2 lemons



Set the oven to Elec 325F  or gas 3

Cream butter and sugar Add the dry ingredients and then beat in the eggs

Bake in the oven for an hour or until brown on top

Eat cold.

Cumberland Rum Nicky

Cumberland Rum Nicky

Shortcrust pastry

8 ozs flour

3 ozs white fat

1 oz yellow fat

water to bind.

4 ozs currants

2ozs brown sugar

1 tbsp. dried ginger

2 ozs soft  butter

2 fl ozs rum


Set the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3

Mix all the filling ingredients in a  bowl and allow flavours to develop whilst you make pastry.

Add the filling to the pastry case and bake for approx. 35 mins depending on your oven. Eat hot or cold.




Lakeland Tatie Scones

This is a link to the Scottish connection as Cumbria is on the border with Scotland and Tatie scones originate from there.

Lakeland Tatie Scones  ( tatty - potatoes)

8 ozs Self raising flour

6 ozs cold mashed potatoes

2 ozs Cheddar cheese grated

salt and pepper to taste

2 ozs butter

milk to bind together


set oven for elec 400F or gas 6

Rub butter into sieved flour

add all the other ingredients and mix well .

Roll out dough onto a board and cut scones into shapes desired , ...circles, squares etc.

bake in oven for 10 or 15 mins either side and serve hot with butter.


Buttermere Biscuits

Buttermere Biscuits

8 oz. self raising flour 
4 oz. soft butter
4 oz. caster sugar
1 large egg 
2 oz. currants  
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all the dry ingredients together

Beat in the butter

Add a beaten eggs and mix together

Roll out thickly on board and cut biscuits in to your size of choice.

bake for 15 mins on Elec 350F or Gas 4  , or until cooked


Cumberland Hot Pot

We had this a few years ago near lake Consiton. My husband enjoyed it so much that we went back next night and he ordered it again 

Cumberland Hot Pot

1 lb of diced hogget or mutton

8 ozs Black pudding ( blood sausage )

1 large onion chopped

2 large carrots chopped large and chunky

1 turnip chopped

1 pint of stock

2 lbs potatoes cut into thin slices


Brown all the meat in a pan and put all the ingredients except potatoes  into a large casserole dish .

Layer the potato slices over the meat . Pour the stock over the mixture.

Cook very slowly for about 3 hours on Elec 150C/  300 F  or gas 2

Serve with pickled red cabbage


Cumberland Clap bread / havver bread

Cumberland Clap bread / Havver bread

Havver is the Norse word for oats so as the North of England was heavily Norse,  Havver bread is to be expected in this area.  Havver bread is a very large thin circular oat bread. Wheat does not grow well so far north so oats are a  good alternative.

6oz fine  oatmeal                   
salt to taste  

1 tsp baking soda
2oz flour
boiling water
One tablespoon melted butter

Mix the dry ingredients together and then mix the butter with some boiling water and bind together the dry ingredients. Add more boiling water if necessary.

Rollout the dough and cut into shapes as desired

Bake until crisp on  350F, 180C or Gas 4 for about 25 mins

Cumberland Rum Butter

Cumberland Rum Butter

Once again rum makes an appearance. There was a huge smuggling trade and also ships arriving in West of England ports brought rum too. Rum butter has been in Cumberland for centuries

8 ozs unsalted butter  softened

6 ozs dark brown sugar

10 tbs rum

Mix all the ingredients together and leave for 24 hours to infuse. Serve on scones, pancakes  or with rich puddings

I always do this on Christmas day to eat with a traditional Christmas pudding .

Lamplugh Pudding

This is a very old recipe which has no amounts with it.

Lamplugh Pudding

This is considered to be a fore runner of a traditional Christmas pudding. The origins though are vague.

Ale was mixed with  spices and brown sugar then poured over dried fruit, lemon rind and oats. This made a fruit porridge. The consistency was as people wanted to to be.

April 2018 update ; Kendal Pudding

This recipe appeared in 1859. It has a pastry base and is like a baked custard.

Kendal Pudding

Pastry to line a pie dish

2 types of jam

2 eggs


2 ozs sugar

grated lemon peel


  • Line a pie dish with pastry and cover the base with two  types of jam.
  • Mix eggs, milk and sugar together and pour into the dish on top of the jam.
  • Scatter lemon peel on top and bake in the oven on Gas 4 / Elec 350 F  /150 C for about 35 mins or until a knife put into it comes out clean

Sawrey Pie

Sawrey pie
Sawrey pie

Sawrey Pie

Autumn 2019

I found a very localised Lake District recipe yesterday. It comes from the village of Sawrey, Beatrix Potter's location .

It has a layer of pastry, a layer of Apricot jam, a layer of rhubarb and a cinnamon sponge layer on top. Sounds good. 

Updated: 10/24/2019, Veronica
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
Veronica on 08/05/2021

I don t have a recipe for it. I saw it in a cafe in Cumbria.
But to look at it, ... i would think ...

.......make a layer of pastry to line a pie dish
....... spread a layer of apricot jam or preserve over the pastry
........ stew some rhubarb, drain of excess water and spread over the jam
......... make your sponge cake recipe but add cinnamon to taste . Spread this over the rhubarb
......... bake on 180C for about 30 mins.

Serve hot or cold.

DerdriuMarriner on 08/05/2021

Do you have the recipe for the sawrey pie? Methinks it'd be a tasty dessert for this side of the pond's Labor Day celebrations beginning of next month.

Veronica on 10/24/2019

AUTUMN update 2019
This week, whilst in the Lake District, I bought my Cumberland Brandy Butter to have with Traditional Christmas Pudding on Christmas Day. I always buy it in Cumbria, every year.

Veronica on 10/24/2019

Autumn 2019 update
I found an unusual local dish yesterday called Sawrey Pie. Sawrey is a hamlet close to where Beatrix Potter lived.
I have added it above.

Veronica on 04/15/2018

April 2018 update
I have found an 1859 recipe for Kendal pudding and added it above.

Veronica on 02/08/2018

White fat is what Americans call Shortening. We would call it white fat or lard.
Yellow fat would be butter or margarine.

DerdriuMarriner on 02/07/2018

Veronica, Thank you for sharing the images and information regarding Lakeland fayre. What is the difference between white and yellow fat? Is there any other color of fat?

Veronica on 11/07/2017

I don't know what recipe you used for your farls. I think Irish farls are made with bi carb of soda and mashed potato.

Veronica on 11/07/2017

Hot pot refers to any dish cooked in one pot - a hot pot. There are several types of hot pot . Cumberland is my husband's favourite.

frankbeswick on 11/07/2017

II note that you mention Cumberland hotpot, which sounds delicious. How many kinds of hotpot are there ? [I know of Lancashire hotpot, we ate enough of it as children!] Do you think that there is scope for an article focusing on hotpot for you to do?

You might also like

Don't get fat this Christmas

Having lost weight, I am a little anxious about the approaching season and ha...

A Victorian Christmas

200 years ago Christmas Day was hardly celebrated at all. In England it was s...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...