Flead Cakes

A Kent Delicacy

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Good Things in England

By Florence White

Published 1932

  • About

‘In days gone by,’ writes a friend who was the daughter of a farmer in the Weald of Kent, ‘cakes and scones would be made from buttermilk, and the flour for them and the bread would be made from the farmer’s own wheat sent to the mill to be ground. Bacon, ham, and sausages were all cured and made at my old home. Twice a year a pig would be killed, in March and October, cured and salted for home consumption. Lard also was put down; jams, fruit jellies and pickles were made. We were,’ she adds, ‘particularly noted for our pickled walnuts.’

This is her recipe for Flead Cakes: —


  • Flead 1 lb. (this is called flare by London butchers)
  • household flour lb.
  • a little salt
  • water to mix.


  1. Free the flead from all the skin and veiny peices; cut in thin flakes.
  2. Place the flour in a bowl, add the flakes of flead and the salt, mix all together.
  3. Make into a stiff dough with a small quantity of cold water.
  4. Turn on to a floured pastry board.
  5. Take one end of a rolling-pin and then just beat as hard as you can, turning over as required, but handling as little as possible, and working quickly.
  6. Let it rest about 15 minutes, then repeat; do this three times.
  7. After the third beating and rest, roll out to about an inch in thickness, cut in any shape fancied and bake in a quick oven.
  8. Have ready some kitchen paper ‘rucked up’ on a large dish, then turn cakes on to this, allow to cool in the warm kitchen. Then store in tins. They will keep a long time.