May 21, 2024


Free For All Food

Tea cake titan Sir Boyd Tunnock at last reveals his mystery recipes in e-book for lifeboat charity

He is Scotland’s most well-known baker and, at the age of 87, Sir Boyd Tunnock has ultimately opened his recipe ebook.

When he located himself shielding at residence thanks to Covid, he did what he does ideal and started earning scones and cakes for his neighbours.

Now his mystery lockdown recipes are released in a guide for the first time, with proceeds likely to charity and Sir Boyd is delighted. He claimed: “These are the recipes I grew up with. Some are authentic, passed down as a result of generations and other folks are adapted from recipes I inherited more than the decades.

“I’ve tried out them all and baked just about every 1 of them in my kitchen area at house in the course of lockdown. It was so uplifting to be ready to share the effects with neighbours and buddies in the course of these 18 weeks. You don’t know what you can obtain right up until you test.”

The businessman, whose grandfather Thomas opened the family’s to start with bakery in Uddingston, Lanarkshire, in 1890, started off his lockdown “shift” every early morning at 6am.

His property is a stone’s throw from the Tunnock’s manufacturing unit which features file-breaking once-a-year gross sales of £64 million and produces a lot more than six million Caramel Wafers and 3-and-a-50 % million Tea Cakes a 7 days.

But the factory fell silent in March because of to the pandemic. Sir Boyd explained: “I like to retain occupied and these ended up – and continue to are – unusual periods.

“I am normally up early and, just before I knew it, I was baking at the very least two distinctive items each individual working day. It was great fun. I begun with scones and pancakes then moved on to banana loaf, Paris buns and Empire biscuits.

“I was happy with what I had built. They have been handed round five distinct homes in the avenue and were being extremely gratefully received.”

Sir Boyd Tunnock with his recipe book

As news of his property-baking spree distribute, neighbours started to reciprocate, even though other individuals put normal orders.

Sir Boyd said: “One of my neighbours was a baker and she would deliver me some of her things, gingerbread and the like.

“Another relatives returned the favour and built Empire biscuits utilizing my recipe and brought me some throughout. They ended up beautiful.

“I have a pal whose house backs on to mine and he’d arrive down to the other side of the fence each and every day at 4pm. I’d just take no matter what I’d built wrapped in foil and toss it more than to him.

“But I would occasionally skip and we experienced meringues flying off in the wrong way additional than after. It was fantastic pleasurable, we experienced a giggle and a chat… and he continue to ate them.”

The plan for the book arrived later. Sir Boyd, who joined the family business aged 16 in 1949, claimed: “I’d had lots of requests for the recipes. I’d been noting every little thing down in a wee pocket reserve and I realised there have been 16 recipes which have been tried and analyzed, so I took the bull by the horns and contacted a printer.”

His top suggestions include steeping dried fruit overnight for a moist tea loaf, including warm rather of chilly h2o to icing sugar when decorating biscuits and putting smaller pots of boiling water at the foundation of the oven when baking baguettes to hold the crust smooth.

But the inventor of the Tunnock’s Tea Cake – he arrived up with the idea in 1956 – remains limited-lipped about the profitable method for his company’s entire world-well known biscuits. He reported with a chortle: “I just cannot explain to you far too several secrets, now can I? I’d get into problems with the manager.”

Proceeds from the reserve will go to the impartial St Abbs Lifeboat charity. Sir Boyd donated £260,000 to the enchantment for the Borders neighborhood lifeboat station in 2015 immediately after the RNLI shut its site. He explained: “I am a sailor and I wished to do some thing to support. It is a very good charity. It’s great to be in a situation to support people who are encouraging some others.

“We’ve now elevated £1,850 from revenue of the recipe e-book but the orders are nevertheless coming in. It’s marvellous.”

The e book has common recipes for meringues, scones, pavlova, brandy snaps and puff candy. His “nicket-shape” shortbread is circular with a crimp about the edge, much like the foundation of an personal strawberry tart or fern cake.

Euan Gibson, a trustee of St Abbs Unbiased Lifeboat, explained: “We’re thrilled with the aid we obtain from Sir Boyd and can’t thank him plenty of for his donations in excess of the years.

“The recipe e-book is a finish a single-off, just like him, and has proved a big strike. Indeed, we’ve been swamped with on line orders and donations.

“It’s a special and particular reward that was initially only supposed for his family and friends. But he resolved to have the e-book revealed for sale with all proceeds generously coming to St Abbs.”

The recipes

Tea Cake Loaf


  • 4oz sultanas
  • 4oz currants
  • 2oz cherries, lower in fifty percent
  • ½ pint chilly solid tea

Future day:

  • 10oz of self-increasing flour
  • 1 crushed egg
  • 8oz brown sugar


  1. Blend very well and divide into two baking tins.
  2. Bake at 150C for 1½ to 1¾ hours.

Empire biscuits

You will will need:

  • 8oz simple flour
  • 6oz butter
  • 2½ oz sugar


  1. Pin out to ⅛inch thick and reduce with 2¼ inch cutter. Spot on tray. Bake at 160C till gentle brown.
  2. Sandwich with raspberry jam. Ice with drinking water icing (warm drinking water icing sugar). Continue to keep thick! Spoon on to biscuit then half cherry to complete!