SCRIPTURE cake? Yes, you read that right, where Bible study meets baking.

Historically, the recipe for scripture cake is called just that: Scripture.

Rather than typical ingredients, the traditional recipe includes a list of Bible verses instead, requiring the baker to call on her knowledge of scripture to make the cake ''or at least compel her to thumb through the Old Testament''.

Other names for scripture cake also can be found: it is known as ''Bible cake'', ''Scriptural cake'',  and ''Old Testament cake'', and all these cakes were extremely popular in the latter part of the 19th century, especially around the East Riding of Yorkshire.

The earliest recipe for scripture cake dates back to the late 17th century when its popularity around the Yorkshire region saw it baked and eaten at local church teas, picnics and Sunday School days out.

Scripture cake recipes all share similarities, yet each one tends to be a little different, with this cake also being a useful means to teach girls baking and Bible verses.

Some of the recipes today having been ''floating around'' for many years, and often turn up in local church newsletters and magazines.

This scripture cake recipe came from my collection of old and tattered recipe books which are often passed onto me, and which I treasure and spend hours looking through them.

Municipal Hall, Keighley Parish Church, was where I found this fascinating recipe in their fundraising cookbook printed by the Feather Brothers printers of Keighley in 1924.

The recipe for scripture cake was contributed by Miss Pickup, also from Keighley, who says that if you know your Bible well, this will pose no problems.

The cake is very similar in many ways to a crossword puzzle, so if you like baking and solving puzzles, you'll enjoy making this cake if you study well.

It is an excellent farmhouse-style cake; much lighter but still adds a nice flavour to complement the figs.

It has a very good proportion of cake to fruit, so it is not too rich. The top can be left plain or sprinkled with coarse sugar crystals or crushed sugar cubes before baking.

It would be very interesting if any of the Keighley News readers have any family connections to Miss Pickup and remember the church hall and printers in Keighley – I would love to know.

Enjoy this novelty cake baking game, get out your bible and try to solve this puzzle!  

Scripture cake recipe

Ingredients with the answers to the puzzle included  

225g Judges 5:25 last clause = softened butter

225g Jeremiah 6:20 = light brown sugar 

1 tablespoon 1 Samuel 14:25 = honey 

3 Jeremiah 17:11 = eggs lightly beaten 

225g Samuel 30:12 = raisins 

175g Nahum 3:12 = soft-dried figs or dates

85g Numbers 17:8 = blanched almonds, roughly chopped 

350g 1 Kings 4:22 = plain flour or self-raising without the baking powder 

1 teaspoon 11 Chronicles 9:9 = ground mix spice 

1 teaspoon Amos 4:5 = baking powder 

A pinch of Leviticus 2:13 = salt 

6 tablespoons Judges 4:19 = milk 


1. Preheat the oven to 170c/Gas Mark 3 and line a 20cm/8'' deep cake tin, greased with butter and lined with greaseproof paper. 

2. Using a wooden spoon, beat the Judges 5:25 with Jeremiah 6:20 and the 1 Samuel 14:25 until creamy. 

3. Gradually beat in Jeremiah 17:11, beating well after each addition. 

4. Stir in Samuel 30:12, using kitchen scissors chop up the Nahum 3:12, discarding the stalks, and stir into the mixture with the Numbers 17:8. 

5. Mix one Kings 4:22 with 11 Chronicals 9:9, Amos 4:5 and Leviticus 2:13 and fold into the mixture with Judge 4:19, using a large metal spoon. 

6. When thoroughly combined, spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. 

7. Bake in the preheated oven for around two hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. 

8. Stand the cake on a cooling wire till completely cool before turning out of the tin and removing the paper. Wrap in foil if you can for a couple of days before cutting up.