Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can;
Pat it and prick it and mark it with “B”,
Put it in the oven for baby and me.

Patty cake, patty cake, baker's man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can;
Roll it up, roll it up;
And throw it in a pan!
Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man.


The first known published version of this nursery rhyme appeared in Thomas D'Urfey’s play The Campaigners, which dates back to1698: ‘…pat a cake Bakers man, so I will master as I can, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and throw't into the Oven.’

‘Mother Goose’s Melody’ version from 1765:
Patty Cake, Patty Cake,
Baker’s Man;
That I will Master,
As fast as I can;
Prick it and prick it,
And mark it with a T,
And there will be enough
for Jacky and me.

The Great Fire Started at a Bakery

Unlike many other nursery rhymes, Pat-a-Cake has no hidden political meaning or historical background. There have been attempts to connect it with The Great Fire of London that happened in 1666 when, during three days of burning, nearly half of the city burned down. The logic behind the connection is that bakeries were considered as great fire risks. The fire of 1666 also started at a bakery. No evidence, however, points out that the rhyme initially had this meaning.

Children’s Clapping Game

As far as we could tell, it is just a children’s clapping game. Two children cheerfully clap their hands with each other while chanting the rhyme.

Patty Cakes

Patty cakes that are mentioned in the older version are small cakes made with currants. You may find a recipe here.

‘Mark it with T’ in the same older version may actually mean making a cross sign (small ‘t’) on the cake—this way blessing it.