The Best Mary Berry Eccles Cakes Recipe

Last updated on April 8, 2024

Mary Berry Eccles Cakes Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 35 Mins

Today, we’re jumping into something special – Mary Berry’s Eccles Cakes. Imagine combining flaky pastry with a rich, fruity filling. Sounds good, right? These cakes are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a cozy afternoon tea or a little treat just because.

This recipe serves up 6-8 delicious cakes and takes about an hour to make. So, grab your apron, and let’s get started. I’ll walk you through every step, sharing some tips and tricks along the way to make sure your Eccles Cakes turn out amazing. Ready to bake something awesome? Let’s go!

What is Mary Berry Eccles Cakes Recipe?

Mary Berry’s Eccles Cakes are a traditional British pastry, featuring a rich, spiced fruit mixture encased in a buttery puff pastry. Originating from the town of Eccles, these cakes are celebrated for their delightful contrast of textures and deep, aromatic flavors.

Mary Berry Eccles Cakes

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Rich in History: Enjoy a piece of British culinary heritage with every bite.
  • Delectably Spiced: The filling is a perfect harmony of sweetness and spice, appealing to all palates.
  • Versatile Serving Options: Delicious on their own, with a slice of cheese, or a cup of tea, these cakes are perfect for any occasion.
  • Satisfying Texture: The flaky, buttery pastry paired with the moist, fruity filling offers a delightful sensory experience.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Eccles Cakes

For the Filling:

  • 100g currants
  • 25g mixed peel, finely chopped
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp brandy (optional)

For the Pastry:

  • 500g puff pastry, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 egg, beaten (for glazing)
  • Caster sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Eccles Cakes

Step 1: Preparing the Filling

  • Combine Filling Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, combine the currants, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dark brown sugar. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and pour it over the dry ingredients, mixing well. If using, stir in the brandy for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Cool the Mixture: Allow the filling mixture to cool completely before assembling the cakes. This prevents the pastry from becoming soggy.

Step 2: Rolling Out the Pastry

  • Preheat the Oven: Heat your oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7). A hot oven ensures the pastry puffs up beautifully.
  • Roll Out the Pastry: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of about 3mm. Use a round cutter (about 10cm in diameter) to cut out circles.

Step 3: Assembling the Cakes

  • Add the Filling: Place a heaped tablespoon of the cooled filling in the center of each pastry circle. Don’t overfill to prevent leaking during baking.
  • Seal the Pastry: Dampen the edges of the pastry with a little water, then bring the edges together and seal them tightly. Gently roll the sealed pastry with a rolling pin to flatten slightly, ensuring the filling is evenly distributed. Flip the cake so the seam is on the bottom.
  • Glaze and Sugar: Brush each cake with the beaten egg and sprinkle with caster sugar. This will give a beautiful golden finish and a sweet crunch.
  • Bake: Place the cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, slightly spaced apart. Make two small cuts on the top of each cake to allow steam to escape. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed.
  • Cooling: Transfer the baked Eccles cakes to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. They are delicious both warm and at room temperature.

Eccles Cakes Recipe Mary Berry

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Eccles Cakes?

Mary Berry’s Eccles Cakes are versatile and can be served in various delightful ways:

  • With Cheese: A slice of creamy Lancashire or sharp cheddar cheese complements the sweet, spicy filling beautifully.
  • Tea or Coffee: Serve with a strong cup of tea or coffee for a classic British experience.
  • As a Dessert: Warm Eccles cakes can be served with a dollop of cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a simple yet satisfying dessert.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Eccles Cakes

Creating the perfect Eccles Cakes is an art, but with these pro tips, you’ll be able to achieve delicious results every time:

  • Chill the Pastry: Keeping the puff pastry cold before baking helps ensure a flakier texture. If the pastry warms up too much while you’re working with it, pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes.
  • Don’t Skimp on the Filling: While you don’t want to overfill the cakes and risk them bursting open, be generous to ensure each bite is packed with flavor.
  • Ensure a Good Seal: When sealing the pastry, press the edges together firmly to prevent the filling from leaking out during baking.
  • Even Thickness: When rolling out the pastry, aim for an even thickness to ensure uniform baking and texture.
  • Score the Tops: The small cuts on top are not just decorative; they allow steam to escape, preventing the cakes from bursting at the seams.

Variations of Mary Berry Eccles Cakes

Eccles Cakes are wonderfully adaptable, allowing for various tweaks to suit your taste or to experiment with new flavors:

  • Spice It Up: Adjust the level of cinnamon and nutmeg, or add a pinch of allspice or clove for a different spice profile.
  • Fruit Variations: Substitute some of the currants with raisins, sultanas, or finely chopped dried apricots for a twist on the traditional filling.
  • Zesty Flavors: Add the grated zest of an orange or lemon to the filling for a fresh, citrusy note.
  • Alcohol-Free: If you prefer not to use brandy, a teaspoon of vanilla extract makes a great non-alcoholic alternative that still adds depth of flavor.

How do I Store Mary Berry Eccles Cakes Leftovers?

Proper storage is key to keeping your Eccles Cakes delicious for days after baking:

  • Room Temperature: Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Eccles Cakes freeze well. Wrap them individually in cling film and then place them in a freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

How do I Reheat Mary Berry Eccles Cakes Leftovers?

To bring back the freshly baked taste and texture of Eccles Cakes:

  • Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) and warm the cakes for 5-7 minutes. This method helps to crisp up the pastry again.
  • Microwave Method: For a quick warm-up, place a cake in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Be careful not to overdo it, as the pastry can become chewy.

Nutrition Values (per serving, approximate):

  • Calories: 250-300 kcal
  • Fat: 15g (Saturated Fat: 9g)
  • Carbohydrates: 30g (Sugar: 15g)
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sodium: 200mg


Can Mary Berry’s Eccles Cakes Be Made in Advance?

Yes, you can prepare Eccles Cakes in advance. They store well at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze them for up to 3 months and thaw at room temperature when ready to enjoy.

Can I Use Store-Bought Puff Pastry for Mary Berry’s Eccles Cakes?

Absolutely! Using store-bought puff pastry is a great time-saver and ensures a consistently flaky texture. Just make sure to let it thaw completely if it’s frozen and roll it out lightly before cutting your circles.

How Do I Prevent My Eccles Cakes from Bursting Open While Baking?

To avoid your Eccles Cakes bursting open, don’t overfill them. A heaped tablespoon of filling is just right. Also, ensure you seal the edges firmly by pressing them together and make a couple of small slits on top of each cake to allow steam to escape.

What’s the Best Way to Serve Eccles Cakes?

Eccles Cakes are versatile and can be served warm or at room temperature. For a traditional touch, pair them with a slice of Lancashire or Cheddar cheese, or simply enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s Eccles Cakes are a timeless classic that brings a piece of British tradition into your kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the craft, this recipe offers a delightful baking experience with deliciously spiced, fruity results. With these tips, variations, and serving suggestions, you’re well-equipped to make and enjoy these cherished pastries in the comfort of your own home. Happy baking!

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