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.
Eccles cakes do not have Protected Geographical Status, so may be manufactured anywhere and still labelled as "Eccles" cakes.
A Chorley cake (left) and an Eccles cake (right)
The Banbury cake is an oval cake from Banbury, Oxfordshire, similarly filled with currants.
The Chorley cake (from Chorley in Lancashire) is flatter, made with shortcrust pastry rather than flaky pastry and is devoid of sugar topping.
The Blackburn cake is named after the town of Blackburn, Lancashire, and is made with stewed apples in place of currants.
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.