Eccles Cakes [Recipe]

Okay:  Pop quiz!  Does anyone know what I was supposed to post today?

If you do, awesome!  If you don’t, awesome!  😀  Hehe, it’ll come.  But some things take time and practice, and this particular item needs a LOT of practice.  So, soon.  But not yet.

Instead, today I’m going to share with you a friend’s recipe, which I got while visiting her in Toronto a little while ago.  I am sharing this recipe because she is awesome, and this recipe takes after her in that way.

Meet my friend, Sarah.


Now.  What recipe, you ask?  It is foooooorrrrr…. ECCLES CAKES!!!  Gah!  You’re so excited!  I know!  Calm down, calm down.  It’s just a recipe.  😉

Eccles Cakes are an English tea time favorite, made with homemade puff pastry, a mixture of dried fruit and spices, and sugar on top.  De-licious.  There is copious amounts of butter in this recipe too, which adds to the general “Wow I love this and want to eat all of them in one sitting” feeling.

Here’s the recipe!

Eccles Cakes

1 oz butter, softened
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 oz currants
1 oz chopped mixed peel
1/4 tsp ground mixed spice (or cinnamon)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


8 oz flour

1/4 tsp salt
8 oz cold butter

Cold water

To start, mix up the filling!  Sarah has this super nifty measuring bowl, which measures everything by weight.  I need one of those.  I grew up measuring in cups and tablespoons, but this method, I hear, is a lot more precise – And it looks awfully fancy when you’re using it.

At any rate, you can mix up the filling by first creaming the butter and sugar, and then adding the rest of the stuff to that.  Then mix it up and set it aside.

Next:  Pastry!  This is the tricky part.  If you made My Croissants a little while ago, you’ll basically be a pro at this already – though, this method is a little different.  It’s easier though, so… Yeah.  If you got the croissants down, this will be like eating a piece of cake.  That easy.  😉

Start out by mixing together the flour and salt, and then cut in the butter till coarse.  Once that is done, add cold water (mixing in between – I like to use a fork for this part) in little bits until the mixture comes together into a dough (you will still see the butter chunks in there).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and kind of pat it together in a square/rectangle shape.

Rrrrrr-o-o-o-oooll it out!  Roll it into about a 8″x13″ rectangle, then fold it into thirds.

From there, rotate it 90 degrees, and roll it out again. 

Fold it into thirds again, and… Can you guess?  Yup.  Repeat.

And again?  Hehe, yup.

And… AGAIN!  😀

In total, you will need to roll and fold the dough 4-5x, folding and rotating each time except the last.  If the butter is melting while you work – Stick the dough in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and then come back to it and keep going later.  You want the dough to stay as cold as possible as you roll it out, to keep the layers of butter preserved.

When you’re all done, cut the last bit of dough in half, wrap the pieces in plastic or foil, and refrigerate about 20-30 minutes, or until you’re ready to finish making the eccles cakes.  

(Look at those layers!  :))


After the dough has chilled, remove one package of dough from the fridge and roll it out to be about 1/4″ thick. 

Cut into 3″-4″ circles with a round biscuit or cookie cutter, then fill with about 1/2 Tbsp. filling.

Fold the edges up toward the top, pinch to seal, and turn the patty over.

Cut 2 slits in the top of each patty, cutting just deep enough to get through the layers to the filling.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet; repeat with the rest of the circles.  Press the excess dough together, re-rolling to yield more circles; repeat.
 – Do not overwork the pastry!  Try to get as many cakes as you can out of it each time you roll it out. I would not bother re-rolling the same dough out more than 2x after the first batch. Extra trimmings can be pressed together with your fingers to make more circles, or just baked as they are with sugar on top. Overworking the pastry will cause the butter to work in too much, and you’ll lose the flakiness of the pastry.
 – Use a cookie sheet with sides!  This will prevent the butter from dripping off the sides of the pan and potentially causing a fire in your oven.  Don’t forget this part!  😉

Brush the eccles cakes with water, and then sprinkle with sugar (coarse sugar is great for this).

Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Cool on wire racks.

Enjoy!  I recommend eating them warm, with a cup of tea. :]

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing this recipe with me!  And for so expertly making them while I watched and took notes with my camera in hand… It was a good time. 

Oh, one more thing.  Before I go I’d like to ask you, dear blog reader:  What’s your favorite teatime treat?

Back soon!




  1. This recipe looks delicious. Extravagant presentation but yet doable instructions. Your pictures are very helpful and very well done! Bravo! The recipe sounds perfect, but if you were to substitute the currants with something else, what would you choose?

    My favorite teatime treats are chocolate chip scones and coffee cake. Not too exotic, but delicious 🙂

    I am planning an afternoon tea for my Bible study ladies, and I think this will be the perfect treat to treat them to 🙂

    Thanks again!


  2. Hey Becky, thanks for your comment!

    If I were to substitute the currants, I would likely use raisins or dried blueberries.

    Yay for coffee cake and scones! Some of my favorites as well.

    If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s