Easy Traditional Welsh Cake Recipe

Welsh Cakes

 

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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 21 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Yield: 20 small cakes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
119 Calories
5g Fat
16g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 119
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 164mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 56mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There is no denying that one of the favorite teatime treats in Wales is, well, the Welsh cake. The small and sugar-covered cakes sit halfway between a scone and a pancake, crumbly, but a little doughy. Served with butter, these delicious treats are easy to make and can be a great addition to your coffee break, breakfast, or brunch spread. Made with simple wholesome ingredients, Welsh cakes are traditionally cooked on a bakestone called a maen, and although bakestones are found in all Celtic countries and used for all sorts of recipes, only in Wales do they griddle sweet cakes on them. A heavy frying pan works well at home, but take care not to let the sugar in your Welsh cakes burn.

There are many home cooking secrets to the perfect Welsh cake, and different cooks use different spice mixes. Some prefer plain mace, while others use cinnamon and mace combined. However, the flavor closest to a traditional Welsh cake comes thanks to the use of what's known simply as mixed spice, a mixture of cinnamon, coriander, caraway, and nutmeg that in some cases includes allspice, cloves, ginger, and cayenne. Depending on the brand you choose, you'll find different mixes, but cinnamon should definitely be one of the spices, with either nutmeg or mace and caraway seeds. It's easily found online and most groceries will have a version of this spice, which is also known as British mixed spice or pudding spice. The second must in your recipe is lard, a rich and delicious pork fat. But be aware that not all lard is created equal and you should use leaf lard—from the visceral fat around the pig's kidneys—and not plain lard, which is from the pig's back, as leaf lard has a mild flavor that's better suited for baked goods. Finally, use superfine sugar, also known as caster sugar, which is a type of crystal in between powdered and regular sugar and is easily made at home by pulsing regular white sugar in a blender until the crystals look finer.

Welsh cakes are best eaten while hot but will keep for up to 10 days in an airtight container—though it's unlikely you'll have any leftovers as the warm and sweet cakes will disappear in front of your eyes as soon as you serve them. If preferred, serve them with lightly whipped fresh cream and preserves. This recipe comes thanks to Gilli Davies, the author of the renowned book "Welsh Food, Flavours of Welsh," courtesy of True Taste of Wales (Graffeg).

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces butter

  • 2 ounces lard

  • 8 ounces self-rising flour

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 3 ounces superfine sugar

  • 3 ounces currants

  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spices

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 medium egg, beaten

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine the lard and butter in a small bowl.

  2. Rub the fats into the flour and salt until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

  3. Stir in the sugar, currants, mixed spice and honey.

  4. Add the beaten egg and mix to form a firm dough.

  5. On a floured board, roll or pat the mixture until about 2cm thick.

  6. Cut into 6 centimeters in diameter discs (2.3 inches) and griddle over medium heat until golden brown on both sides.

  7. Dust the Welsh cakes with caster sugar and eat immediately or store in an airtight tin.