Eccles Cakes

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Eccles cakes small English cakes similar to banbury cakes, except that they are normally round in shape and the filling has fewer ingredients; currants, wheat flour, brown sugar, butter and vegetable fat, milk, and salt are standard.

The cakes take their name from the small town on the outskirts of Manchester where they were first made and named. Mrs raffald (1769), herself from Manchester and the author of one of the best cookery books of the 18th century, had given a recipe for ‘sweet patties’ which may well have been the confections from which Eccles cakes evolved. Mrs Raffald’s filling included meat (from a calf’s foot), apple, candied peel, and currants, an assemblage compatible with what the term mincemeat (see mince pie) used to mean.