Fig Sly Cakes Recipe

food from great britain
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 Updated 13/03/2017

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Also known as "Cheats Cake", this traditional recipe is so called because of its deceptive appearance. On the outside the cakes look plain and boring, but concealed inside is a rich filling of figs, currants, nuts and raisins.


  • 10oz plain/all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 4oz butter, diced
  • 3oz lard, diced
  • 2oz caster sugar
  • 8oz dried figs, chopped
  • 3oz walnut pieces, chopped
  • 2oz currants
  • 2oz raisins
  • milk to glaze
(see measure conversions for more information on quantites)


  1. To make the pastry, put the flour and salt into a bowl, and then rub in the butter and lard until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Stir in the sugar and enough water to bind the mixture together.
  3. Chill while preparing the filling.
  4. Put the figs, walnuts, currants and raisins into a saucepan with 1/4 pint water and cook uncovered, stirring continuously, until the water has evaporated and the fruit mixture is soft and thick.
  5. Leave to cool.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.
  7. Roll out one half of the dough and place it in a suitable well-greased tin.
  8. Spread the fruit mixture over the dough.
  9. Roll out the remaining dough and use to cover the filling.
  10. Seal the edges well and mark into 12 squares.
  11. Brush the top with the milk.
  12. Bake at 190oC for about 40 minutes.
  13. When ready the cakes should be golden brown.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12 portions


Thanks very much for pointing out this mistake. I've put it right now.
#1 - James - 10/26/2008 - 17:30
Hi, I just looked at your recipe for 'fig sly cakes' under british recipes, and under the title there is a recipe for beef stew and dumplings!
#0 - Louise - 10/26/2008 - 14:31
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