Just like all the best cakes Jenkins & Hustwit started out in a farmhouse kitchen thanks to Ann Hustwit and Hilary Jenkins, two farmer’s wives, who met while working as cookery teachers in a local school. Each had her own treasure trove of family recipes, passed down on sheets of paper worn thin over time and each had a passion for the traditional farmhouse cakes they had learned to bake from their own mothers and grandmothers.
Growing frustrated by the restrictions of teaching cookery, they decided to focus on making the proper, traditional fruit cakes, puddings and sponges they had enjoyed so much during their own childhoods. In 1990 the pair set up Jenkins & Hustwit, originally cooking all the cakes and puddings in their own homes and selling them at local food and craft fairs.
Their farmhouse cakes and fruit-rich puddings were so delicious they soon outgrew their kitchens. But no matter how big the business grows it sticks to all the principles that make homemade Yorkshire farmhouse cakes so irresistibly delicious: using generous helpings of the best ingredients, relying on family recipes that have been passed down through the generations and taking the time to ensure the best flavour and quality.
While Jenkins & Hustwit are rightly famous for their rich Yorkshire fruit cakes, the pair also wanted to bring back some traditional local delicacies and old fashioned favourites, like the light and chewy Northumbrian Rice Cake and the nostalgic Granny Cake, a delightful, fat free treat that harks back to the days of WW2 rationing.
Now the range includes loaf cakes, including the warming sticky Ginger Cake, the golden Butter Madeira, the Cherry and Almond, studded with jewel bright summer fruit and the Tea Loaf, packed with juicy dried fruit and infused with black tea. Plus, plump traditional Victorian Christmas Puddings, matured for months to bring out their flavour and the unforgettable Rich Fruit Cake and Dales Fruit Cake. There is also a range of specially adapted reduced sugar, fat and gluten free cakes and puddings.
In 2016 Jenkins & Hustwit moved to a new base in Northallerton in North Yorkshire and the full range of cakes was made available online in 2017, so anyone can have delicious mail order cakes delivered direct to their door, sharing the traditional taste of Yorkshire farmhouse cakes and puddings nationwide.