All I’ve ever known about Eccles cakes is that they are English. So when I found this recipe I thought I’d better find out a bit more about them. Good old Wikipedia tells me that ‘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 commercially, from his shop in the town centre in 1793″. Any fans of the 1950s Goon Show will also know that Eccles was a character played by Spike Milligan – an amiable, well-meaning man with no wits or understanding, in other words a bit of an idiot. So the humble Eccles Cake has quite a history.