- The Daily Spud - https://www.thedailyspud.com -

Tales Of Wales

Welsh Cakes

Welsh cakes

Nigella Lawson includes a recipe for Welsh cakes in her book How to be a Domestic Goddess [1]. However, I was familiar with these simple, sweet griddle breads long before I ever got my hands on that book – having first eaten versions of them as a child. They were one of only two Welsh dishes that I was aware of from an early age (the other, of course, being Welsh rarebit [2]).

The recipe here is fairly similar to the one you’ll find in Nigella’s book. There’s not much more to it than flour, butter, sugar, eggs, dried fruit, a bit of warm spice and a hot griddle. The key to good Welsh cakes (apart from the use of butter, naturally) is a light touch when it comes to handling the dough (and I’d have to say that I enjoyed some wonderful light and buttery examples while I was in Wales). It’s a satisfyingly simple classic.

You’ll need:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp allspice (or try cinnamon or a smaller amount of either nutmeg or cloves)
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g cold butter
  • 100g dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants or a mixture)
  • 75g sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • demerara (or other) sugar for sprinkling (optional)

You’ll also need:

  • A smooth griddle or cast iron pan

The Steps:

  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spice and salt.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the dried fruit and sugar, then add the beaten egg and mix to a soft (but not sticky) dough.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  • When ready to cook, place your griddle or pan over a medium heat.
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of around 1cm or a little less. Cut out rounds using a cookie cutter or glass – make the cakes big or small as you fancy and cook on the heated, unoiled pan for around 3-4 minutes each side or until golden.
  • Sprinkle with a little demerara (or other) sugar if you like and serve warm (with butter, even better) or at room temperature with a nice cuppa.

The Variations:

  • You can vary the fruit and spice as the mood takes you and there’s nothing (bar tradition) to say that you couldn’t add the likes of a little lemon zest or vanilla to these.

The Results:

  • Makes around 25 x 6cm round Welsh cakes