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Dorset Dough Cake

Do you remember Dorset Dough Cake? It used to be made by Smith’s bakery in Gillingham and sold in shops around the county, including Balson’s butchers in Bridport.

When Peter Smith fell ill in 2006, Smith’s closed and dough cake production ceased. Moores Biscuits in Bridport stepped into the breach and made dough cake for a few months, but there was low demand and they found it was too timeconsuming to continue. For the last five years or so, no one has made dough cake for sale in Dorset on a regular basis.

But now, Yarn Magazine has uncovered a traditional recipe for the cake and Sheila Gilbey, from the Abbots House in Charmouth, shows us how to prepare one.


  • 225g (8oz) strong white flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 55g (2oz) butter
  • One sachet yeast
  • 150ml (5fl oz) water
  • 115g (4oz) mixed dried fruit
  • 55g (2oz) caster sugar
  • teaspoon mixed spice


Use the ingredients to make a very soft dough, rise, knock back and place in a 6-inch cake tin to rise and then bake at 190°C for 30 to 45 minutes. Cover with paper if necessary to prevent burning on top. When cool, brush with sugar syrup to glaze.

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