Banbury cake

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Banbury cake
Two Banbury cakes, one having been cut into two pieces
Place of origin United Kingdom
Region or state Banbury, Oxfordshire
Creator(s) Edward Welchman
Main ingredient(s) Puff pastry, butter, currants, zest, cinnamon, nutmeg

A Banbury cake is a spiced, currant-filled, flat pastry cake similar to an Eccles cake, although it is more oval in shape. Once made and sold exclusively in Banbury, England, Banbury cakes have been made in the region to secret recipes since 1586 or earlier and are still made there today, although not in such quantity. The cakes were once sent as far afield as Australia, India and America.

Banbury cakes were first made by Edward Welchman, whose shop was on Parsons Street.[1] Documented recipes were published by Gervase Markham and others during the 17th century. These recipes generally differ largely to the modern idea of a Banbury cake, in terms of their size, the nature of the pastry, and how the cake is made. In the late 19th century, the notorious refreshment rooms at Swindon railway station sold "Banbury cakes and pork pies (obviously stale)".[2][3]

Besides currants, the filling typically includes mixed peel, brown sugar, rose water, rum, and nutmeg. Banbury cakes were traditionally enjoyed with afternoon tea.



  1. Little (2003), p. 27.
  2. MacDermot (1931), p. 409.
  3. Booker (1985), p. 107.


  • Booker, Frank (1985) [1977]. The Great Western Railway: A New History (2nd ed.). David & Charles. ISBN 0-946537-16-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Little, Brian (2003). Banbury: A History. Phillimore & Co. ISBN 1-86077-242-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • MacDermot, E. T. (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. II: 1863-1921. Great Western Railway.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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