Yorkshire moggy cake knows how to purr …

So here comes autumn, ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and Yorkshire Moggy Cake.  I must assure you that this delectable treat is not made from a Yorkshire breed of cat (so Larry the Cat can rest easy). It is thought that the name Moggy or Moggie may come from the Old Norse word ‘múgi’ meaning flour or corn, reflecting our varied Yorkshire cultural and linguistic heritage.

We Yorkshire folk and Scandinavians have common forebears in the Vikings. In fact, many words in Yorkshire dialect are a mélange of Old Norse (Viking), Old English (Anglo-Saxon), Celtic, Old French, Middle and High German and Dutch.

But back to Yorkshire Moggy Cake. It’s rather like a prelude to our famous Yorkshire Parkin but lighter in texture as it doesn’t contain oatmeal. Most of the traditional Yorkshire Moggy Cake recipes contain ginger, black treacle and golden syrup with some variation in amounts of these ingredients.

A baked moggy cake cooling on a rack.
Photo credit: Meryl White

What you need …

50g/2oz butter

4 tbsps golden syrup

2 tbsps black treacle

4 tbsps (golden) caster sugar

250g/8oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 tsps ground ginger

1 egg

150ml/5fl oz milk 

1 tbsp demerara sugar (optional)

A square or round 22cm/8 inch cake tin lined with baking paper


Other recipe ideas from Meryl White:


Preheat the oven to 160ºC/gas 3. Melt the butter, golden syrup, treacle and sugar gently in a pan. Sieve the flour, baking powder and ginger into a bowl. Stir the melted mixture into the dry ingredients. Beat the egg and milk together and add gradually until all is incorporated. The mixture should be quite stiff. Turn it into a prepared tin and sprinkle the demerara sugar on top if you wish for a crunchier topping. Bake for around 50 minutes until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.

If you can wait three or four days, the cake should become sticky like Yorkshire parkin. I’ll be writing up Grandma Abson’s recipe for Yorkshire parkin in time for 5 November. In the meantime, I trust you’ll be curled up with a mug of Yorkshire tea and purring over moggie cake.


You can read more about Grandma Abson’s life, her passion for baking and recipes on Meryl’s blog. Or head over to @potsaway on Instagram to check out how Meryl and Patrick are back once again cooking together apart in #lockdown in Yorkshire and London.

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