Rainy Sunday baking: Scones and Lancashire Eccles cakes

There’s nothing better than baking on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Scones only take about 30 minutes from start to finish and I haven’t made them in a long time so thought I’d give them a go. I usually alter recipes I find quite a lot, but Mary Berry’s Devon scone recipe (DK Complete cookbook) is pretty faultless.  Perfect when served with clotted cream and raspberry jam.

I’ve never made Lancashire Eccles cakes before so thought I’d have a bit of an experiment today. I adapted a recipe by Delia Smith and experimented with seasoning, pastry thickness and overall size. I made the pastry in this recipe but for Eccles cakes in under 30 minutes use ready made puff pastry instead.

Scone recipe (makes 12)


  • 60g butter
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml semi-skimmed milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 220oc (200oc fan, Gas mark 7) and grease a baking tray.
  2. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingertips, lifting the flour into the air as you rub, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make sure the butter is cold for this step!
  3. Mix in the caster sugar.
  4. Crack the egg into a measuring jug and make up to 150ml with semi skimmed milk. Mix in to form a soft dough.
  5. Knead the dough until smooth and roll out  on a floured surface until 1cm thick.
  6. Cut using a pastry cutter, place on the baking tray and glaze with milk.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Cool on a wire rack before serving with jam and clotted cream.

Eccles cake recipe (makes 10 small)IMG_8898


  • For the pastry:
    • 75g hard butter or margarine (must be cold)
    • 110g plain flour
    • a pinch of salt
    • 3 tbsp cold water
  • For the filling:
    • 25g hard butter
    • 75g mixed dried fruit
    • 60g dark soft brown sugar
    • 25g chopped mixed peel
    • grated zest of an orange
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the topping:
    • 1 egg white
    • granulated sugar


  1. To make the pastry, sieve flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Using a cheesegrater grate the butter into the bowl and mix with a spoon so all the butter is covered. Then rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the water a tbsp at a time until a soft (not sticky) dough is formed.
  3. Wrap the pastry in flingfilm and store in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200oc (190oc fan) and grease a baking tray.
  5. For the filling, melt the butter in a pan, remove from the heat and add all the filling ingredients at once and mix.
  6. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface as thin as possible (16cm by 40cm ) so that it can be cut into 10X 8cm squares.
  7. Equally distribute the filling between the 10 squares. Seal in the filling by folding the corners of the pastry inwards until the filling is covered.
  8. Place on the baking tray, turning each cake over to hide the seal. Carefully press on each one to flatten.
  9. Score each cake a couple of times with a knife
  10. Brush with the egg white and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes or the pastry is golden brown and hard.
  12. Cool on a rack before serving.

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