Letters: Fat Rascals once cooked on moorland around Whitby

Having got family who have lived in Whitby since the late 1940s / early 1950s and having got to know and love Whitby myself over many years, I and my family do not understand how Betty's of Harrogate can fully claim the Fat Rascals recipe as theirs when evidence shows Whitby people have made these in the past.

Monday, 27th November 2017, 12:06 pm
Updated Monday, 27th November 2017, 1:08 pm
Former miner and self-taught baker Mark Whittaker makes a fresh batch of Whitby Fatties each day in the small kitchen above the cafe. Friday 27 October. Picture Ceri Oakes.

Here is a copy of the recipe itself.

Now I do not know if it is the same ingredients as Betty’s.

It is from my mother’s old Yorkshire WI recipe book, which she bought at the Whitby Flower Show, third edition 1958, on one of our many holidays there.

This book clearly says Fat Rascals were cooked over an open turf or peat fires on Whitby Moors. Sometimes called turf cakes. Which must have been past down the generations.

Betty’s do not seem to have the right to keep this recipe for themselves, which the Whitby the cafe owner they threatened with action might be interested in:

Fat Rascals recipe from the Yorkshire WI Recipe Book


8oz self raising flour, 4oz lard, 3oz sugar, 2oz currants, 1oz sultanas, pinch of salt, water or beaten egg.


Rub the lard into the flour and add the other ingredients.

Mix to a fairly soft dough with a little water or, to make extra good use a little well beaten egg. Roll out to about half inch thickness and cut into rounds.

Bake in a hot oven (425°) for about 15 minutes or until nicely brown. Makes about twenty-four pieces.

N Nestor

Cotton Street

Thornes, Wakefield