Traditional Singing Hinny

Traditional singing hinny recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
532 Calories
33g Fat
54g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 532
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 43%
Saturated Fat 15g 73%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 994mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Protein 6g
Calcium 130mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

What a delightful name this little griddlecake has. The origins of the traditional scone-like griddlecake called a Singin’ Hinny is easily identified. Hinney is the pronunciation of " honey " in the northeast of England around Sunderland, Newcastle and through to Northumberland. It is a term of endearment used usually to and about women and children. With the singing part of the name from when the cakes are cooked in a hot flat griddle pan, as they hit the pan, the butter and lard start to sizzle and ‘sing’. Delightful all around. 

The hinny mixture resembles a scone mixture, and, as with scones, need handling the same way so the mixture does not become tough. These may be griddled cakes, but should still be light and crumbly. You can see how to keep them light in the notes at the end of the recipe.

These northern griddle cakes are not dissimilar to a Welsh cake, but without any added sugar. Sweetness in the hinnies comes from the dried fruit.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (or 450 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 ounces (or 110 grams) butter (very cold)
  • 4 ounces (or 110 grams) lard (very cold)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 6 1/2 ounces (or 185 grams) dried fruit (currants, sultanas, and raisins)
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons milk
  • Serving Suggestions: butter, granulated sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for traditional singing hinny
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Into a large roomy baking bowl, sieve the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.

    flour
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Cut the cold butter and lard into small pieces, add to the baking bowl and rub together with the flour until it resembles rough sand.

    Cut the cold butter
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Stir in the lemon zest and the mixed fruit.

    Add dried fruit
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Once thoroughly mixed gradually add milk, a little at a time, until the dough comes together and is soft and pliable.

    Add milk
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Dust a board or work surface with a little flour, and roll out the dough to around 5 mm (a little less than 1/4-inch) using a 6 cm / 2 in. cutter.

    Cut out circles
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Heat a flat griddle pan or a heavy-bottomed frying pan.

    Frying pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Using a little paper towel smeared with lard, grease the pan lightly.

    Butter frying pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Once hot, cook the hinnies, a few at a time for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

    Cook the hinnies
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  10. Serve warm with a good smearing of butter, or simply sprinkle with a little sugar.

    Serve hinny
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • Make sure the equipment and ingredients used for making the hinnies are all as cool as possible, including your hands. The butter should be very cold - but not frozen. Warm hands, ingredients, and equipment if too warm will melt the butter rather than it be rubbed in resulting in dense scones.
  • Work quickly, and lightly. Avoid over rubbing or kneading the mixture; it does not need to be super-smooth, simply needs to be pulled together in a light, pliable dough.
  • When cutting the hinnies using a tart cutter, avoid twisting the cutter, just press down then gently shake the hinny onto the prepared tray. If cutting with a knife, make sure it is sharp blunt knives or twisting the tart cutter tears at the edges of the hinny and stops any rise when cooking.

Storage

  • The hinnies are best eaten fresh but can be stored in an airtight tin for 24 hours.

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