Eccles cakes

Prep: 2 hrs Cook: 20 mins

More effort

Makes 10 (easily doubled)
Sticky and packed with fruit, with extra flaky and light pastry, these Eccles cakes are just about perfect

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen unbaked

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal445
  • fat23g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs58g
  • sugars31g
  • fibre2g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.41g
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    For the pastry

    • 250g block cold butter



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 350g plain flour
    • juice ½ lemon



      Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

    For the filling

    • 25g butter



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 200g currants
    • 50g mixed chopped peel
    • 100g light muscovado sugar
    • 1 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger and ground allspice



      A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

    • zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, plus a few tbsp of orange juice



      Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

    To glaze

    • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
    • lightly crushed La Perruche sugar cubes (available at Waitrose, delis or online) or 3 tbsp preserving sugar


    1. To make the pastry, dice the butter and put it in the freezer to go really hard. Tip flour into the bowl of a food processor with half the butter and pulse to the texture of breadcrumbs. Pour in the lemon juice and 100ml iced water, and pulse to a dough. Tip in the rest of the butter and pulse a few times until the dough is heavily flecked with butter. It is important that you don’t overdo this as the flecks of butter are what makes the pastry flaky.

    2. On a floured surface roll the pastry out to a neat rectangle about 20 x 30cm. Fold the two ends of the pastry into the middle (See picture 1), then fold in half (pic 2). Roll the pastry out again and refold the same way 3 more times resting the pastry for at least 15 mins each time between roll and fold, then leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 mins before using.

    3. To make the filling, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Take it off the heat and stir in all the other ingredients until completely mixed, then set aside.

    4. To make the cakes, roll the pastry out until it’s just a little thicker than a £1 coin and cut out 8 rounds about 12cm across. Re-roll the trimming if needed. Place a good heaped tablespoon of mixture in the middle of each round, brush the edges of the rounds with water, then gather the pastry around the filling and squeeze it together (pic 3). Flip them over so the smooth top is upwards and pat them into a smooth round. Flatten each round with a rolling pin to an oval until the fruit just starts to poke through, then place on a baking tray. Cut 2 little slits in each Eccles cakes, brush generously with egg white and sprinkle with the sugar (pic 4).

    5. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 8. Bake the Eccles cakes for 15-20 mins until just past golden brown and sticky. Leave to cool on a rack and enjoy while still warm or cold with a cup of tea. If you prefer, Eccles cakes also go really well served with a wedge of hard, tangy British cheese such as Lancashire or cheddar.

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    Comments (2)

    rosietea's picture

    I'm not sure about this recipe. It says it makes 10, but then only tells you to cut 8? I found there was enough pastry for 10, but after 20 minutes in the oven, i took one out to try and they were nowhere near ready. I left them in for 35 mins at 200 (fan), and I suspect they may still have uncooked pastry in the folds on the undersides. The pastry isn't as flaky as I'd hoped, but saying that, they do still taste delicious. I left out the mixed peel, added a few more currants instead, and used a couple of clementines in place of the orange.

    mich_mkp's picture

    I made these on Christmas Eve as a homemade Christmas present for my Dad and brother who both adore Eccles Cakes. They were dead easy to make, and I would definitely do these again. I had never made my own flaky pastry before and it was much easier than I thought it would be. To save on time I made it the night before and chilled it, which I think made it easy to roll out the next day.

    Filling leaked a bit, but they sort of sealed again on cooling. Dad and bro were delighted.

    (And if I may be forgiven for being a bit cheeky - they looked so much nicer than the picture in the magazine! All golden and sticky).

    Questions (0)

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    Tips (1)

    Chris4454x's picture

    I couldn't be bothered with the hassle of making the pastry so just bought in some ready made butter puff pastry and used this with the recipe. It worked perfectly and the cakes were excellent.