Easy Eccles Cake

Eccles Cake Recipe

  The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
435 Calories
23g Fat
56g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 435
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 154mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 31g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 233mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Technically not a cake, Eccles cakes are closer to a pastry but have been known as such for hundreds of years. A traditional pastry from the British town of Eccles, in Greater Manchester, Eccles cakes are round and flat in shape, filled with dried currants and spices and baked to a golden brown color.

Made with puff pastry, Eccles cakes are a delightful treat when eaten with Lancashire cheese, another product of the area. Flaky, sweet, buttery, and with the perfect amount of sweet, our recipe will bring to your table the Eccles cakes in a short amount of time. By using store-bought puff pastry, you don't have to think about folding and chilling the coveted, difficult-to-achieve dough.

Banned for a while by Cromwell's puritans, much like mince pie and other succulent treats, the cakes really never went away and luckily the traditional recipe has been unaltered by centuries to the relief of Eccles cakes enthusiasts. Purists frown at anything but a currant filling, as the fruit has the right amount of tartness and keeps its texture even after baked in the pastry. Whoever has attempted an alternate version with raisins knows that these turn mushy and are too sweet, giving the pastry an over-the-top sugary finish that is not intended. Find good currants and give these pastries a try. You might find your new favorite afternoon treat. The cakes keep well for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container.

Ingredients

  • 140 grams sugar, divided

  • 40 grams butter, divided

  • 225 grams currants

  • 25 grams candied fruit peel

  • 1 pinch nutmeg, freshly ground 

  • 500 grams puff pastry, 2 ready to bake sheets

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a medium saucepan, combine 110 grams of the sugar and 25 grams of the butter and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the currants, candied peel, and nutmeg to the saucepan.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to 1/4-inch and cut into 4-inch rounds with the help of a wide glass or big cookie cutter. You'll need 10 disks.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Lightly grease a baking sheet with the remaining butter. Place each cut round onto the sheet and add a small spoonful of filling to the center of each disk.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Dampen the edges of the pastry with cold water and draw the edges together over the fruit. Pinch to seal.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
    The Spruce 
  7. Turn the patty over—it might look thick in the center—and then press gently with a rolling pin to flatten the cakes.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
     The Spruce
  8. With a pair of cooking scissors, snip a V shape on top of each cake to help the steam escape during the baking process. For a more classic look, cut three slits on top of the Eccles cakes instead of the v shape.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
     The Spruce
  9. Brush the cakes all over with cold water and sprinkle the cakes with the leftover sugar.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
    The Spruce 
  10. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
     The Spruce
  11. Remove from the oven and place the Eccles cakes on a wire cooling rack to cool off.

    Eccles Cake Recipe
     The Spruce
  12. Serve and enjoy cold or warm!

    Eccles Cake Recipe
     The Spruce

Why Can't I Microwave Eccles Cakes?

For starters, because you want to eat them fresh out of the oven. Secondly, the microwave will change the texture and they'll become soggy. But mainly you don't want to microwave an Eccles cake because there's a chance that the sugar on top will caramelize and catch fire.

Many reports in the U.K of damaged microwaves and small house fires have been attributed over the years to Eccles cakes, so much so that the main brand that produces them has a message on the package to warn users not to heat up the pastry in the microwave. If needed, slightly warm in the conventional oven.

Additions and Substitutions

If you've mastered the classic currant filling and you'd like a change, here are some suggestions that although not traditional are still delicious:

  • Substitute 1/3 of the currants for dried cranberries, and add the zest of 1 clementine.
  • Add 4 teaspoons of brandy to the fruit mix.