An Eccles cake is a small, round cake filled with currants and made from flaky pastry with butter, sometimes topped with demerara sugar.

Name and origin

Eccles cakes are named after the English town of Eccles. It is not known who invented the recipe, but James Birch is credited with being the first person to sell Eccles cakes commercially, which he sold from his shop at the corner of Vicarage Road and St Mary's Road, now Church Street, in the town centre in 1793.[1]

Eccles cakes do not have Protected Geographical Status, so may be manufactured anywhere and still labelled as "Eccles" cakes.[2]

Similar pastries

A Chorley cake (left) and an Eccles cake (right)

The Banbury cake is an oval cake from Banbury, Oxfordshire, similarly filled with currants.[3]

The Chorley cake (from Chorley in Lancashire) is flatter, made with shortcrust pastry rather than flaky pastry and is devoid of sugar topping.[4]

The Blackburn cake is named after the town of Blackburn, Lancashire, and is made with stewed apples in place of currants.[5]

Fire hazard

British fire brigades have reported fires started by Eccles cakes overcooked in microwave ovens. The sugar contained in the cakes is alleged to be flammable.[6]


  1. ^ "The history behind (and recipe for) Eccles Cakes". Salford City Council. Archived from the original on 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2007-04-10. 
  2. ^ Smith, Lewis (18 March 2011). "Cumberland sausage wins protection". The Independent. London. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Little, Brian (2003). Banbury: A History. Phillimore & Co. p. 27. ISBN 1-86077-242-0. 
  4. ^ "Chorley Cakes and Lancashire Cheese" (PDF). Visit Lancashire. Retrieved 16 April 2015. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Wilson, Sean (2012). the Great Northern Cookbook. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1-4447-6113-9. 
  6. ^ Webb, Sam (23 May 2013). "Fire brigade issue warning after rise in kitchen blazes caused by overheating Eccles Cakes". Daily Mail. 

External links