Twenty British Dessert Foods With Weird Names

Bakewell Tart on a Plate
Creative Commons

There's a lot in a name, but the weird sounding names for British dessert foods tend to be the exception to the rule. Usually, food names sound appealing or create a sense of anticipation, such as apple pie, treacle sponge, and rich fruit cake. But British dishes often require that you guess what the food is. For example, do you know what a Singin' Hinny is? How about laver cakes? Both are, in fact, quite delicious, but their names don't necessarily reflect that.

Many of these weird and wonderful names for British foods have been handed down over the centuries. Some come from local dialects, while others are just imaginative. With this list, get the facts about some of the weirdest sounding cakes, puddings, and biscuits in the United Kingdom.​

  • 01 of 11

    Spotted Dick

    The Ultimate Spotted Dick Pudding
    Elaine Lemm

    The name of this classic English pudding usually results in a smile or look of horror, which is why some people prefer the dish's alternative name, “Spotted Dog Pudding.” The spotted part of the name supposedly refers to the raisins and currants in the dough. The word "dick" is a colloquial word for pudding originating from the antiquated "puddick" or "puddog." 

  • 02 of 11

    Singin' Hinnies

    Singin' Hinnies
    Getty Images

    These lovely, sweet griddle cakes are a delight. Hinney is how "honey" is pronounced in Northeast England. It is also a term of endearment for women and children. The singing part of the name describes how the cakes are cooked in a hot flat griddle pan. As they hit the pan, the butter and lard start to sizzle and sing.

  • 03 of 11

    Barm Brack

    Barm Brack, close-up
    Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

    Brack is one of Ireland's most famous bakery products. The name comes from "breac," which means speckled and refers to the fruit in the loaf. Brack is traditionally eaten at Halloween but is too delicious to save for just once a year. Eat it at tea time or as part of your St. Patrick's Day celebrations. 

  • 04 of 11

    Tablet

    ScottishTablet
    Getty

    This sweet doesn't refer to an electric device you can write on, as its name implies. Instead, it is a Scottish candy, much like fudge. Scottish tablet contains sugar, butter, and condensed milk and is very easy to make. 

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Cranachan

    Scottish Cranachan
    Getty

    Cranachan is not quite a trifle, but it's similar. It is a Scottish dessert often served at celebrations such as Christmas or Burns Night. The pudding contains raspberries, oats, cream, honey and a dash of Scotch ​whiskey.

  • 06 of 11

    Parkin

    Traditional Yorkshire Parkin
    Getty

    Parkin is the Northern English form of gingerbread, distinguished by where and how it is made. The most well known is Yorkshire Parkin, which traditionally is eaten on Nov. 5, known as Bonfire Night. The event celebrates the famous failure of Yorkshire's Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

  • 07 of 11

    Bara Brith

    Bara Brith Cake
    Elaine Lemm

    No Welsh afternoon tea would be complete without this delicious fruity tea bread. Bara Brith literally means speckled bread.

  • 08 of 11

    Hobnobs

    british-hobnobs
    Elaine Lemm

    A Hobnob is a biscuit (cookie) which also was voted one of the top ten of Britain's favorite biscuits. They are made commercially but making your own is so much fun and produces a hearty biscuit. 

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Eccles Cake

    Eccles Cakes
    Judith Doyle/Flickr

    First made in North West England in 1793, eccles cake is a small flat pastry filled with dried fruits and spices.

  • 10 of 11

    Eton Mess

    Traditional British Eton Mess
    Photo Elaine Lemm

    Eton mess is a mixture of strawberries, meringue, and cream traditionally served at Eton College. It's unclear how it first got the name. According to one story, a Labrador dog sat on a picnic basket in the back of a car and squashed a strawberry and meringue dessert.​

  • 11 of 11

    Crempog

    Scotch Pancakes
    Getty Images

    Crempog is Welsh pancakes. They are different from the traditional British pancake eaten on Pancake Day. Crempog is thicker, slightly risen and cooked on a griddle - not unlike American pancakes. They are quick and easy to make. You can eat them at tea time or for breakfast.​