Barmcake is an English slang word, used in the North and the midlands and originating in Lancashire, to describe a soft white bread bun with nutritional values equivalent to those of the average cowpat and all the taste of unflavoured water with added starch. Due to their basic composition, the task of making barmcakes was usually given to the least skilled workers in the bakery, who were called Barmcake Girls. No mention is made of whether boys were also allowed to make barmcakes.
The word can also be used to describe "a fool or idiot". Presumably this usage of the word dates from a time when well-dressed gentlemen were seen to be strolling along foggy cobbled streets, rolling the waxed tips of their moustaches between tobacco-stained fingertips and exclaiming loudly about the smell of the street urchins.
Apparently the British fad for sandwiches has revived the use of the word somewhat:
British people now spend £2.8 billion consuming two billion sandwiches a year, with the sector expanding twice as fast as the rest of the economy. It's been described as the 'barmcake miracle'.
A Nodeshell Rescue