Eccles cakes

Eccles cakes

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Cooking time

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 22 mins - 27 mins plus overnight freezing

Skill level



Makes 6

These classic British pastries are filled with currants, citrus peel, lemon and spice. Try our foolproof method for a crispy, sugar-sprinkled finish

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per cake

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  • 50g butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 175g currants
  • 50g mixed peel
  • zest 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches ground cloves
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar, for sprinkling

For the pastry

  • 175g butter, in one block
  • 225g plain flour

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  1. The night before, wrap the butter for the pastry in foil and freeze.
  2. The following day, tip your flour into a big bowl with 2 pinches of salt. Hold the butter block in the foil (peeling back a little at a time as you need), then coarsely grate straight into the bowl of flour, dipping the end of the butter into the flour every so often – this helps to stop all the butter clumping together. Use a round-bladed palette or cutlery knife, and lightly stir together. Stir in about 125ml cold water to bring the dough together. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.
  3. To make the filling, melt the 50g butter, then mix in the muscovado sugar, currants, mixed peel, zest and spices. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  4. Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a 20p piece. Use a 15cm cutter to stamp out 6 rounds, re-rolling the trimmings if necessary. Divide the filling equally and place in the middle of each round, then brush the edges with a bit of water. Pull up the edges all around each one and pinch to seal.
  5. Turn over the cakes so the seam is underneath, and lightly roll with a floured rolling pin to a flat-ish round. Re-shape to a neat round. Whisk the egg white with a fork until frothy. Use a pastry brush to brush it over the tops of the Eccles cakes, then sprinkle heavily with sugar. Slash the top of each cake 2-3 times to allow the steam to escape. Put on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 mins until golden and crisp.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2014

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