Pontefract cakes (also known as Pomfret cakes and Pomfrey cakes) are a type of small, roughly circular black sweet measuring approximately 2 cm in diameter and 4 mm thick, made of liquorice, originally manufactured in the Yorkshire town of Pontefract, England.
The original name for these small tablets of liquorice is a "Pomfret" cake, after the old Norman name for Pontefract. However, that name has fallen into disuse and they are now almost invariably labelled "Pontefract cakes".
Originally, the sweets were embossed by hand with a stamp, to form their traditional look, but now they are machinery formed. The embossed stamp was originally a stylised image of Pontefract Castle.
The liquorice root used in these cakes was exported to Australia for the first time by a member of the famous Carter family who hailed from Pontefract.
Healthcare professionals have warned against overindulgence on Pontefract Cakes after a 56 year old woman was admitted to hospital after overdosing on the confectionery.