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National Bakewell Tart Day celebrates a delightful English classic — the scrumptious Bakewell tart. It’s a time when dessert fans can join this celebration of English culinary tradition and, of course, the joy of baking.

The Bakewell tart has an intriguing history, and celebrating its origins is as tasty as it is fascinating.

For those unfamiliar and willing to try Bakewell tarts, this baked treat features a shortcrust pastry shell. It’s filled with layers of jam and frangipane — an almond custard. Finally, it is topped with flaked almonds. 

History of National Bakewell Tart Day

The quaint town of Bakewell, located in Derbyshire, is famous for its namesake treat, the Bakewell tart. The treat has tantalized taste buds in the U.K. for centuries. While the exact origins of this beloved pastry are shrouded in mystery, a famous tale from the early 19th century tells of its accidental creation. 

Legend has it that a simple misunderstanding led to a culinary marvel in 1820 at the White Horse Inn (currently known as the Rutland Arms Hotel). The inn’s landlady had instructed the cook to prepare a jam tart with a rich egg and almond paste base. However, the cook misunderstood her instructions. Instead, the cook layered the egg and almond mixture on top of the jam in a delicious twist of fate instead of blending it into the pastry. 

This misunderstanding and the subsequent error resulted in a delightful surprise: the jam bubbled through the almond paste during baking, creating a delicious combination. This lucky creation quickly became a hit at the inn. Eventually, it evolved into the Bakewell tart we know across the U.K. today, often adorned with sweet icing and a cherry on top.

National Bakewell Tart Day was formally established in Bakewell in 2020. The celebration honors the rich history and enduring popularity of the Bakewell Tart.

How to Celebrate National Bakewell Tart Day

Celebrating National Bakewell Tart Day can be a delightful and delicious experience. Here are some fun (and delicious!) ways to mark National Bakewell Tart Day:

Bake-Off Challenge

Gather up friends and family for a Bakewell tart baking competition. Each participant can try creating their special version of this classic dessert. Enjoy the baking process, then taste-test each other’s concoctions! Assign different ingredients or themes to each baker to add a twist. Perhaps they try a unique jam or create a vegan version. Invite non-bakers to serve on a panel of judges to crown the best Bakewell tart.

Bakewell Tart Picnic

Organize a picnic where everyone brings a different variation of the Bakewell tart. From the traditional recipe to innovative takes incorporating different jams or toppings, discover the diverse world of this beloved pastry. Make it more engaging by having a story behind each tart variation, like a family recipe or an experimental flavor inspired by a personal experience, and enjoy a day of sharing stories and tarts in a scenic outdoor setting.

Bakewell Tart Tasting Tour

Those who live in or near a city with multiple bakeries, may want to go on a Bakewell tart tasting tour. Sample different versions of the tart from various bakeries and cafes, and find a new favorite! Create a scorecard for each participant to rate the tarts on different aspects, such as flavor, texture, and presentation, turning the tasting tour into an exciting and interactive culinary adventure.

Bakewell Tart Decorating Workshop

Host a tart decorating workshop. After making Bakewell tarts, let the creativity flow by decorating them with various icings, fruits, and toppings. This activity is fun for all ages. It’s also a great way to personalize a tart. Provide a range of decorating materials like edible glitter, colored icing, and themed decorations for holidays or special occasions, making it an ideal event for beginners and experienced bakers.

Virtual Bake and Share

In the spirit of sharing, organize a virtual event where participants bake Bakewell tarts at their homes while connecting online. Share the experience tips, and show off those creations via a video call. This event can include a virtual baking instructor to guide participants through the process or a challenge where each baker adds their unique twist to the recipe, sharing their innovations in real-time.

Bakewell Tart History Night

Combine dessert with education by hosting a night where everyone learns about the history of the Bakewell tart. Include fun facts, stories, and, of course, tart tasting. Enhance the experience by creating a themed setting that reflects the era of the tart’s origin. Later, play a trivia game about the Bakewell Tart’s history, engaging and educating attendees in a fun and interactive way.

Donate Tarts to a Local Charity

Spread the joy by baking and donating Bakewell tarts to a local charity, homeless shelter, or community center. It’s a sweet way to give back and share the love on this special day. Consider involving the community in the baking process, such as organizing a group baking day or partnering with local bakeries to increase the number of tarts donated, making a larger impact in bringing smiles to those in need.

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