Welsh Cakes

by Harry on February 4, 2007

There are some dishes which you just can’t imagine that anyone in their right mind would dislike. Others, however much you love them, you assume to be idiosyncratic tastes. Such was always the case with Welsh Cakes, which I love, but long presumed that was because I associate them with long childhood walks in West Wales and visits to my maternal grandparents. Prompted by a colleague, I felt forced to bring an “ethnic” food to the final session of a class we taught (after, I should add, evaluations), and rushed off some welsh cakes because they are low effort and I had the ingredients to hand. I found that everyone raved about them and, in fact, that has turned out to be a universal reaction. So, add this to your CT recipe book:

Welsh Cakes:

2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice (or just mix little nutmeg and cloves)
1/2 cup of (unsalted) butter or margarine (4 oz — one stick)
1/4 cup of sugar (superfine is best)
1/3-2/3rds cup of currants (as preferred)
1 egg beaten
2-4 tablespoons of milk

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a bowl. Rub in the fat till it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir sugar and currants. Stir in egg and enough milk to make a stiff dough.

Roll out till about 1/4 inch thick. Then cut into triangles. Cook by heating VERY SLOWLY on a griddle with a little butter. Keep the heat quite low, and cook for up to 5 or even more minutes each side. After taking it out of the pan, cover in (more) superfine sugar while still hot. They are basically cooktop scones, and are best immediately after cooking (still hot), but will last 3 or 4 days in a sealed container. Serve with butter and jam, or not, depending on how greedy you are.



Andrew 02.04.07 at 4:58 pm

The Welsh would probably be horrified, but in my childhood my Welsh neighbour made these in bulk and put them in the freezer to be fed to us freezing cold on hot Sydney summer afternoons. Marvellous.


Cryptic Ned 02.04.07 at 5:57 pm

This is the only “ethnic” food I’ve ever made as well! And almost everyone loves them and has never had them before and is surprised that they are made on a griddle (and are basically stiff pancakes). However I did not inherit them from my family (Welsh on both sides), I learned to make them because as a youth I went to a Presbyterian church whose ladies regularly made and sold them as a fund-raiser.


vivian 02.07.07 at 2:23 am

Any chance of a semi-regular food feature here at CT? When you’ve given us recipes in the past, they’ve been widely appreciated by the commenters (self-selection is not always bad). Ezster has given soup and links to other recipes, someone started a smoked salmon thread, and while I never did find sweet lime pickle, I did discover that sweet lime chutney plus hot lime pickle plus orange and lime juice make a fantastic marinade for chicken.

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