Eccles cake

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Eccles cake
Eccles cake.jpg
A freshly baked Eccles cake
Alternative names Squashed Fly Cake, Fly Cake, Fly Pie, Flies Graveyard
Type Cake
Place of origin England
Region or state Eccles, Greater Manchester
Main ingredients Flaky pastry, butter, currants
Cookbook:Eccles cake  Eccles cake

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[edit]

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 on a commercial basis, which he sold from his shop at the corner of Vicarage Road and St Mary's Road (now known as Church Street) in the town centre, in 1793.[1]

Nicknames for the Eccles cake include Squashed Fly Cake, Fly Cake, Fly Pie or even a Fly's Graveyard, owing to the appearance of the currants that it contains.[citation needed] Eccles cakes do not currently have Protected Geographical Status, so may be manufactured anywhere and still labelled as "Eccles" cakes.[2]

Similar pastries[edit]

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

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

The currant square is a square shaped cake with shortcrust pastry only on the top and bottom and up to an inch of currant filling.

Blackburn cakes are a similar confection for the city of Blackburn, using stewed apples in place of currants.[3]

Banbury cakes are an oval shaped cake from the town of Banbury.

The people of the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, have produced a similar pastry called a currant roll, made with flaky pastry and currants, which is rolled, baked, then cut into diagonal slices.

Fire hazard[edit]

UK fire brigades have reported several cases of fires started by Eccles cakes overcooked in microwave ovens. The sugar contained in the cakes is alleged to be flammable.[4]


  1. ^ "The history behind (and recipe for) Eccles Cakes". Salford City Council. Retrieved 2007-04-10. 
  2. ^ Smith, Lewis (18 March 2011). "Cumberland sausage wins protection". The Independent (London). Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Wilson, Sean (2012). the Great Northern Cookbook. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1-4447-6113-9. 
  4. ^ Webb, Sam (23 May 2013). "Fire brigade issue warning after rise in kitchen blazes caused by overheating ECCLES CAKES". The Daily Mail (London). 

External links[edit]