The History of the Newburgh Jubilee Cake

Newburgh’s weekly market and annual fair, started in 1304, was held on the green in the centre of the village, and was always well attended, with stalls and booths selling local produce, including the famous Newburgh cheese, renowned as the best in Lancashire, and Newburgh ‘Fairing cakes’.

The cakes continued to be sold in Newburgh through the centuries, and residents in the 1970s recalled buying them at Mrs Hunter’s shop, now the Post Office. However, the recipe was lost.

The Fair was revived in the 1970s. The new recipe, invented in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, had to be based on the only information that remained, namely that it had an all butter pastry, the filling was mainly currants and that the cakes measured about 6 inches by 4 inches. The competition was won by Doris Vickers, whose recipe is reproduced below.


4 oz butter

1 oz caster sugar

6 oz self raising flour

3 oz currants

pinch of salt

1 egg

knob of butter

sprinkling of sugar


Cream butter and sugar

Add half the egg

Add flour and salt and mix together to make ball

Put in fridge for 1 hour

Roll out and divide in two rectangles approx 6″ by 4″

Put currants on one piece, add knob of butter

Sprinkle with sugar and put top on.

Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar

Cook at Gas Mark 5 (190°C) for about 10 minutes