The Great British Eccles Cake

Total Time
2hrs 15mins
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 15 mins

There are few things more quintessentially British than an Eccles Cake. They are quite simply a great British institution. I absolutely adore them!! This recipe was created by the Michelin starred chef Marcus Waring, especially for the Great British Menu competition. The pastry takes a little time, but it really is worth taking the time and effort to achieve that perfect flaky buttery deliciousness. Of course if it really is too much trouble you can substitute store bought puff or rough puff pastry. Go on treat yourself to a taste of Great Britain with your cup of Earl Grey tea! Timings do not include chilling times!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Dice 1/2 of the chilled butter; rub it into the flour using your hands.
  3. Add just enough cold water (4-5 tablespoons) to bring it together into a soft dough.
  4. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an oblong approx 20cm x 10cm.
  6. Cut the remaining chilled butter into thin slices; cover the middle third of the dough with 1/3 of the slices; fold the unbuttered thirds of dough over the buttered third; first one, then the other, making a square.
  7. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.
  8. Repeat two more times, turning the block of dough 90 degrees each time and chilling between each rolling.
  9. Repeat two more times without the butter; chill for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 240°C /465°F/ gas mark 8.
  11. Line a sheet with parchment paper.
  12. Cream together 1 oz soft butter and caster sugar; add currants, candied peel and nutmeg.
  13. Roll out the pastry until 1/4" thick.
  14. Cut out 12 x 7cm discs.
  15. Spoon the filling into the centre of each disc.
  16. Brush the edges with water, then pull the edges into the centre and pinch them together to seal.
  17. Turn cakes over; place on the baking tray.
  18. Push cakes down lightly to slightly flatten them.
  19. With a sharp knife make three short incisions in the top of each cake.
  20. Brush tops with a little milk; sprinkle liberally with granulated sugar.
  21. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges turn golden brown.
Most Helpful

More than 10 steps in a recipe usually turns me off, but obviously it didn't in this one! This time of year around here, I did have to make up some candied peel, but that was no biggie, & everything else fell right into place! Loved your cake recipe AND the cake as well! Thanks for sharing the recipe! [Tagged & made in Please Review My Recipe]

Sydney Mike September 28, 2011

Haven't had this since I was very little.. thanks for bringing back the memory!

GingerlyJ November 08, 2009

I took the easy route and used the bought pastry, and the cakes were absolutely delicious. They had a life span of about 10 minutes from being presented to the family. I am making some more today! Thanks for posting.

Cathy Billingham October 26, 2008