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Yorkshire Fat Rascals – A Classic Bake from God’s Own Country

Yorkshire Fat Rascals. Are they a scone? Are they a cake?

English, Scones | 23rd May 2017 | By

CT recently returned from a trip to York. Whilst there he popped into Bettys Tea Rooms for a cuppa and a curd tart. Fat rascals are a classic Yorkshire bake and one that I very much associate with Bettys. I’ve never actually tried one, so in order not to feel left out, I decided to have a go at making some.

Yorkshire Fat Rascals

Fat rascals are a type of tea cake that originated in Yorkshire in the early 1800s. They appear to have encompassed pretty much anything that contained flour and fruit. The modern one, however, is a rich fruited scone-cum-rock cake. They became famous when Bettys created a recipe for them in 1983; it remains a closely guarded secret.

Yorkshire Fat Rascals. Are they a scone? Are they a cake?

I had a good trawl around for an authentic fat rascals recipe, but every one I found was different. Some included eggs and some didn’t. The same went for candied peel and the type of dried fruit used. Double cream even featured in a couple.

I ended up doing my own thing, but you might find Karen’s fat rascals recipe over at Lavender and Lovage worth a look. I used a combination of spelt, plain and coconut flour, swapped the milk or double cream for crème fraîche and cheekily added some apricots to the mix.

Yorkshire Fat Rascals. Are they a scone? Are they a cake?

These Yorkshire fat rascals may not be an authentic recipe, but they sure tasted good. The consensus amongst those that tried them, was that they were more of a rock cake than a scone. Either way, they were good on their own, with or without butter and especially when warm from the oven.

It turns out that CT is plotting a return visit to Bettys this very week. Maybe he’ll try the authentic fat rascals and can comment on the authenticity or otherwise of my version. No matter, he scoffed mine without complaint; he’s a bit of a fat rascal himself, you see.

Update 28 May 2017

CT remembered and brought me back a Bettys fat rascal from York. As you can see it didn’t look much like mine, but although it was good, we both reckoned mine was better.

Bettys Fat Rascal

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Yorkshire Fat Rascals. PIN IT.

Yorkshire Fat Rascals

Yorkshire Fat Rascals – The Recipe

Yorkshire Fat Rascals. Are they a scone? Are they a cake?
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5 from 1 vote

Yorkshire Fat Rascals

A rich fruited scone from Yorkshire that is actually more like a rock cake than a scone. Good enough to eat on their own, although a bit of butter or cream never goes amiss.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: scones, teacake, traditional, Yorkshire
Servings: 8 fat rascals
Calories: 338kcal


  • 250 g flour I used 100g wholemeal spelt, 100g plain and 50g coconut flour
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 scant tsp cinnamon
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • 75 g golden caster sugar I used cardamom sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter - cubed
  • 50 g currants
  • 50 g dried unsulphered apricots - chopped
  • 25 g candied peel - chopped
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 heaped tbsp crème fraîche or yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 8 undyed glacé cherries - halved
  • 8 blanched almonds


  • In a large bowl, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the fruit and peel.
  • Make a well in the middle and break in one of the eggs. Beat the other egg in a cup and add half to the mix, keeping the other half back to use for brushing later.
  • Add the crème fraîche, then stir with a knife from the inside out until the mixture comes together. Add 1-2 tbsp of water if the mixture is to dry then stir again.
  • Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a soft dough, then divide into eight. Roll each piece into a ball between the palms of your hands and place well apart on a lined baking sheet.
  • Flatten each ball slightly, then brush with the remaining egg. Place two cherry halves and an almond on each rascal.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200℃ (400℉, Gas 6) for 15 minutes or until the rascals are well risen, firm and golden.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool, or get stuck in immediately.


Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg


I’m sharing these Yorkshire fat rascals with #CookBlogShare which is hosted this week by Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes.

Also #BakeOfTheWeek with Mummy Mishaps and Casa Costello.


  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    23rd May 2017 at 11:30 am

    50g of coconut flour?? Did you use coconut flour or the ground dried coconut flakes? Because 50 grams of coconut flour is about 1 whole cup and absorbs so much more liquid than wheat flour.
    These are new to me and kinda of like X’mas baking :-))

    • Choclette

      23rd May 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Yes, I used coconut flour. I often add it to bakes as I find it helps give a nice texture as well as adding a bit of flavour. Maybe that’s what helps the cakes last longer.

  2. Mandy

    23rd May 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve never heard of a fat rascal before but they sound lovely and something I will definitely look out for should I ever visit Yorkshire! In the meantime I’ll have to make my own. Thanks for linking to my Yorkshire puddings x

    • Choclette

      23rd May 2017 at 2:23 pm

      It was the having to make my own that has led to my undoing. They are so good, I’m going to have to make them again!

  3. kellie@foodtoglow

    23rd May 2017 at 4:57 pm

    You are so cheeky calling a CT a fat rascal! Your recipe really does look fab, and I totally love that you mixed up the flours, using coconut and spelt. I’m sure that enhanced the taste of the fruit. They look incredibly moreish.

    • Choclette

      23rd May 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Well I am only being cheeky, he’s a dear man. Spelt is the flour I use most, but it’s always nice to mix it up a bit. A little coconut flour works well in baking I find and definitely enhances the flavours.

  4. Vicki

    23rd May 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Wow! I’ve never heard of these but I want one! They sound epic!

    • Choclette

      23rd May 2017 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks Vicki. I’d have thought they’d work brilliantly with your flour too.

  5. Camilla

    23rd May 2017 at 8:59 pm

    I’m now wondering who CT is? Your Fat Rascals look really good and I love all the fruit in them:-) Thanks for linking to my recipe:-)

    • Choclette

      24th May 2017 at 8:45 am

      Ah, CT is very much himself, although calling him a fat rascal might have been a bit harsh 😉 Nothing quite beats a good fruity bun at tea time.

  6. Sus //

    23rd May 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I love the name of these! I haven’t heard of them before – they sound yummy!

    • Choclette

      24th May 2017 at 8:42 am

      They are very yummy Sus, but I’m now itching to try the ones from Bettys. Twisting CT’s arm right now – he’s about to catch the train.

  7. Kate - gluten free alchemist

    23rd May 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Never heard of a Fat Rascal but they have a great name and I want one! They look a bit like hot cross buns without the cross. Are they good toasted too? (I’ll eat everything toasted!)
    Thanks for the link to my Yorkies too xx

    • Choclette

      24th May 2017 at 8:38 am

      Almost worth trying for the name alone, but they really are good. I doubt they’d toast very well as they’re a bit crumbly, but they warm up in the oven nicely.

  8. Janice

    24th May 2017 at 8:21 am

    I’ve never had a Fat Rascal from Betty’s Tea Room either, the nearest I’ve been is to look in the window because we weren’t willing to queue outside for an hour to get inside! I guess if you go outside the holiday season it might be easier to get in! Your recipe for Fat Rascals sounds really delicious, I particularly like the addition of dried apricots to the recipe as they are my favourites.

    • Choclette

      24th May 2017 at 8:41 am

      Oh, you must have been unlucky Janice or maybe time of day. I’ve asked CT to bring me back a Fat Rascal to try this time – assuming he can get in without queuing! Dried apricots are one of my favourites too.

  9. Monika Dabrowski

    24th May 2017 at 9:19 am

    These are simply faultless, I love how you make all your recipes so healthy without ever compromising on flavour, and this one is no exception. In fact I think it’s the healthy ingredients that make your recipes so delicious looking and sounding. Thank you for bringing it to #CookBlogShare:)

    • Choclette

      24th May 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Aw thanks Monika. I’m not really a fan of overly sugared, white flour cakes. I have a sweet tooth, so I like to know that I’m getting something nutritious from my bakes 😉

  10. Angela / Only Crumbs Remain

    24th May 2017 at 9:23 am

    They look so good Chocolette, I love the idea of adding some apricots to the mix too. I have admit, even as a Yorkshire girl, I’ve never made fat rascals! I think I ought to change that!
    Thankyou too for mentioning my Yorkshire Curd Tart,
    Angela x

    • Choclette

      24th May 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks Angela. I think you owe it to your roots to give fat rascals a try. Your curd tart looked gorgeous.

  11. Claire Jessiman

    24th May 2017 at 10:26 am

    These look fantastic. Never heard of them before but they sound like the ultimate Rock Cake.

    • Choclette

      25th May 2017 at 9:58 am

      Definitely a fancier version of rock cakes than I was used to – no going back now!

  12. Hannah Hossack-Lodge

    24th May 2017 at 10:35 am

    I have heard of fat rascals but never actually tried one; they do look very like rock cakes which I love so I am sure that I would enjoy them. I have a bag of barely used coconut flour in the cupboard which I really need to use up so a batch of these may be in order!

    • Choclette

      24th May 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Oh do give them a go Hannah, you will make them look beautiful. I often use a bit of coconut flour in bakes, it gives a bit of extra flavour and texture.

  13. Cliona Keane

    24th May 2017 at 11:53 am

    Oooo this looks amazing! I love how traditional these are and they just look scrumptious!

    • Choclette

      24th May 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you Cliona. They are very tasty and I very much fear I shall be making them again soon.

  14. Claire @foodiequine

    25th May 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Fat Rascal is the best name for a bake EVER #fact

    • Choclette

      28th May 2017 at 8:57 pm

      I am unable to disagree with you Claire – it’s the perfect name.

  15. Fiona Maclean

    26th May 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for the mention! I actually forgot I’d blogged that recipe. I love the idea of fat rascals – I’ll have to try sometime soon

    • Choclette

      28th May 2017 at 4:45 pm

      I enjoyed doing that series of posts – back in the day when we blogged for fun!

  16. Jenny-apply to face blog

    27th May 2017 at 1:52 pm

    These look fab. Bizarrely they were in a question on Eggheads this week! I had never heard of them so did a double take when I saw your post.They look delicious!x

    • Choclette

      28th May 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Oh really? How funny. They really are delicious but I wished I’d watched Eggheads now so I could have got the answer 🙂

  17. Jenny Paulin

    30th May 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Wow these look immense! All that fruit and the colour of your fat rascals are fabulous! I would love to try one. I have never heard of them before but I love the name . Thanks for linking to #Bakeoftheweek xx

    • Choclette

      30th May 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks Jenny. They have a fab name don’t they? They’re rather delicious too 🙂


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