The rascal, or fat rascal, has been around since the 1800’s. Originating in Yorkshire, this fruit packed treat bares a close resemblance to a scone or rock cake. It is traditionally decorated with plain blanched almond and glacé cherries, but I like to put my own spin on it. I use Morello glacé cherries, as I prefer their darker colour and richer flavour. I also use salted roasted almonds because I love that little hit of salt among the sweetness. I imagine that honey roasted almonds would work too.

I had my first rascal when a colleague brought one back from their long weekend in York about 12 years ago. They bought it from the famous Betty’s Tea Rooms. It’s not unusual to see a long line of customers snaking around the block, each one eager to get their hands on a fat rascal.

Enjoy with a smear of butter and a nice cup of strong Yorkshire tea.

Yorkshire Rascals



  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 300g Self-Raising Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 250g Unsalted Butter (cold)
  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • Zest of Orange
  • Zest of Lemon
  • 300g Mixed Dried Fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins etc)
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Large Free-range Egg (lightly beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons Orange Juice
  • Whole Milk (or cream)


  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Water


  • Morello Glacé Cherries
  • Salted Whole Almonds


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6
2. Sift together the flours and baking powder
3. Cube the cold butter then add to the flour. Rub the butter into the flour until no large pieces remain
4. Stir in the sugar, spices, zest and dried fruit
5. Pour in the lightly beaten egg, and the tablespoon of orange juice
6. Mix with a wooden spoon. Add milk a tablespoon at a time (2 or 3 at most) until the dry ingredients form a firm but slightly sticky dough
7. Tip out onto a floured surface, and with floured hands, form into a loaf shape. Cut it in two pieces, and put piece to one side
8. Shape the first piece into a log, and cut in half, then each half into 4 so that you have 8 portions from this first piece
9. Repeat the above on the second piece so that you have 16 portions in total
10. Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper. Form each portion into a ball and place 8 on each tray leaving plenty of room for them to spread
11. Press the tops down very slightly but keep them about 3cm in height. Mix the egg yolk with the water and brush the tops of the rascals with the glaze
12. Decorate the tops with cherries cut in half, cut side down, and almonds
13. Place them in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until they have puffed up and the tops are a rich golden brown


Once baked and cooled, the rascals will freeze well. Wrap each one individually in cling film and place in a freezer bag. To enjoy at their best quality, eat within 3 months

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