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.

Pat-a-cake Volland illustration

The first known published version of this nursery rhyme appeared in Thomas D'Urfey’s play The Campaigners, in 1698: ‘…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.

Pat-a-cakeThe 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 occurred 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 great fire risks and the fire of 1666 also started at a bakery. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the rhyme originally had this meaning.

Children’s Clapping Game

As far as we know, "Pat-a-Cake" is simply a children's clapping game. Two children clap their hands together while chanting the rhyme.

Patty Cakes

Patty cakes that are mentioned in the older version are small cakes made with currants. Here's a recipe.

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

 Pat a Cake