Goosnargh Cakes by Janet Berry Baking

Goosnargh Cakes

When Janet Berry told me she was going to make Goosnargh Cakes, I said “what?”  We are all familiar with Bath Buns and Eccles Cakes but I hadn’t heard of Goosnargh Cakes.  It’s important we maintain our regional bakes.

If any of our Cake Life readers bake these, please send me the results!

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Janet told me she would send me some, here is the result, and I thought she meant the actual cakes…

Goosnargh Cakes originated in the little village of that name near Preston, Lancashire and are more like biscuits than cakes. Goosnargh cakes have a similar texture to short-bread, they were popular within Britain during the 16th and 17th centuries, also at a time when whole caraway seeds were a common ingredient in biscuit and cake recipes, although at times ground coriander was used. In the 1880s, records hint to the Goosnargh cake being linked to the religious period of Easter and Whitsun.


3oz Butter

2oz Caster Sugar

6oz Plain Flour

1 Dessertspoon Caraway Seeds



  • Place your sifted flour and sugar into a bowl, and butter into the bowl and rub in together.
  • Add the seeds and continue to bind until it all comes together in a ball
  • Leave the mixture to rest for 1 hour in the fridge
  • Roll out the paste on a floured board until ¼ inch thick, and cut out to the size you require
  • Place onto a greased tray
  • Bake in moderate oven 160 degrees until they become firm, the cakes must not colour.
  • Place onto cooling tray and sprinkle with caster sugar


  1. I grew up in Goosnargh so how lovely to see this recipe on your page. Not baked them for a while but they’re usually available in the village store. The more caster sugar on top, the better! Might need to give them a try again soon.


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