Recipe Testing for Prepped: Eccles Cakes

Image from Prepped. Used with permission by the author

Last week,  a plea came out on Twitter from Vanessa Kimbell (@VanessaKimbell) who is currently in the process of writing her first cookery book called ‘Prepped‘. She is in the final stages of preparing the book for publication (due out in May 2010) and was looking for bloggers to test her recipes. I jumped at the chance as I love using recipes that actually work and being given the opportunity to test one before publication does not come along very often. I decided to test the Eccles Cakes as it is something I have never made before.

Prepped is a linked cookbook designed with a busy cook in mind.  Once you make one thing, you can make another. Vanessa’s recipe was designed to use up leftover Brandy Butter, however as I do not have any brandy butter leftover from Christmas, the recipe (see below) was adapted with Vanessa’s advice.  The picture above is from the cookbook and mine are below.

I thought the recipe was really simple and easy to follow. I doubled the recipe and used a smaller pastry cutter so I ended up making 30 + Eccles Cakes. My colleagues at work did not mind though. They enjoyed them so much, they fought over them! These are something I will make again and again. I cannot wait to see what it in the rest of the book. If everything is this good, it will be amazing.  :-)

Many Thanks to Vanessa for letting me test the recipe and allowing me to share the recipe with you all. It is much appreciated :-)

You can pre-order ‘Prepped: Gorgeous Food without the Slog – a Multi-tasking Masterpiece for Time-short Foodies’ by Vanessa Kimbell in my new Amazon UK Store here.

Eccles Cakes

Makes 9

Prep time 20

Cooking time 20 minutes

Suitable for freezing? Yes


  • 1 x 375g pack sweet shortcrust pastry (or Sweet Pastry)
  • 75g Brandy Butter, softened (or 55g softened unsalted butter and 20g Caster Sugar)
  • 200g currants
  • 1 beaten egg, to glaze
  • 3 tbsp Orange & Clove Sugar (or Caster Sugar), for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/gas mark 4.
  2. Roll out the shortcrust pastry to about 6-7 mm thick. Using a 10cm pastry cutter, cut 9 circles (cut the first 7, then bring the pastry together again and re-roll to achieve 9). Use plenty of flour to dust with underneath and don’t over-handle the pastry: this makes it tough
  3. Mix the butter and currants well together in a bowl.
  4. Put a pastry circle in your left hand (I’m assuming you’re right-handed here!) and put a large tablespoon  approximately 30g  of the butter-currant filling into the centre. Bring your fingers together gently around the circle together, and as the pastry edges touch, simply pinch them together, using your right hand to seal the parcel.Place pinched-side down a very lightly greased baking sheet. Gently squash it down using the palm of your hand to make it into a patty shape.
  5. Once all the cakes are made, brush them all over with the egg for a glaze and dust liberally with the sugar. Cut 3 small slits on the top and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container.
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  1. says

    Oh what a fab Blog post ! Thank you so much for testing these. they are yummy – your work colleagues are so lucky to have you sharing your baking like this .. How lovely !!


  2. Hannah says

    We are very lucky, always look forward to going to work when Jo has been baking. The eccles cakes were yummy, I think I had 5 in one day!!


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