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Sheffield Breadcakes/Fishcakes: The Definitive Word

Sheffield Breadcakes and Fishcakes
Sheffield Breadcakes and Fishcakes

We think everyone else has got cakes wrong. Forget the sweet stuff, in Sheffield we have breadcakes (and fishcakes)!

Lets get one thing straight right here and now. Small, rounded/oval shaped hand-size clumps of bread are called breadcakes. Not cobs, barms, teacakes, buns, baps or any of the other ridiculous names other places in the country insist on calling them. Breadcakes (one word, not two). Got it?

Sheffield Breadcakes: A part of the city’s identity

See, Bakewell has its tarts, Kendal has its mint cakes, Melton Mowbray has its pork pies… We have cakes of bread.

Every Sheffielder has heard silly southerners say something like “But a cake is sweet!” I can confirm, here and now, that isn’t necessarily true.

Cakes of Fish

Which brings me to my second exhibit in the imaginary cake-trial; the fishcake. You can keep your mushy, mashy, breadcrumbed mess that outside this fair city people call ‘fish cakes’. What you are thinking of is a ‘rissole’.

Lee bullen's Sheffield Fishcakes Recipe in the Sheffield Cook Book
Lee bullen’s Sheffield Fishcakes Recipe in the Sheffield Cook Book

A ‘proper’ fishcake (Also known as Yorkshire fish cake and Sheffield fish cake) is two slices of potato sandwiching minced white fish (likely cod). It is then battered and fried like normal chip shop fish (note: another language faux pas — In Sheffield it is a ‘chip shop’, not a ‘fish shop’ as other regions seem to call it).

Fishcake butties

Now, for true ‘cake’ heaven, take a proper fishcake (plenty of salt and vinegar) and place it into a breadcake for a ‘Fishcake butty’ (optionally add another delicious Sheffield invention: Mushy Peas).

Cake on cake. That very concept has probably blown the minds of anyone reading outside of the South Yorkshire boundary.

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The defence for proper cakes rests, M’lud.

The Sheffield Cook Book from Meze Publishing
The Sheffield Cook Book from Meze Publishing

Fancy making your own ‘proper’ fishcakes? Check out The Sheffield Cook Book, which features a delicious Yorkshire Fishcakes guest recipe from former Sheffield Wednesday footballer Lee Bullen, amongst its 50 stunning local recipes!


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Written By

Founder and editor of The Sheffield Guide. A lifelong Sheffielder with a local pride that lovingly crafts each and every piece created. Discover the very best of the Steel City with The Sheffield Guide.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. TERRY Buxton

    2 June 2020 at 19:29

    Should be Hendos not vinegar

    • The Sheffield Guide

      3 June 2020 at 01:04

      I don’t disagree that Henderson’s should be used on almost anything and could work here… but lashings of Salt and Vinegar on a Fishcake Butty is best, for me. 🙂

  2. Kevan Portas

    4 June 2021 at 15:15

    As an ex pat Sheffielder living in Norfolk, it’s the first thing I want on visits back home.

  3. Ray Wilson

    20 October 2021 at 19:38

    Breadcake, fishcakes, Henderson’s and don’t forget Tom -dip?

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