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welsh cakes

with Nia

The Welsh Cakes were originally called "picau ar y maen" or "cakes on the stone." They are one of the most popular Welsh treats and the favorite food of so many in Wales.  In fact, we asked over 25 people what their favorite Welsh recipe was and half of them answered Welsh Cakes. According to Nia, the Welsh Cakes were popular with miners because they are a snack that was easily portable. The Welsh cakes are a mixture between a cookie and a pancake in consistency. They are speckled with raisins and are definitely a comfort food to eat as a breakfast, a snack, or to enjoy with an afternoon tea. Nia is a passionate homecook and an avid member of the Slow Food North East Wales community. Nia decided to teach us her grandma's recipes for Welsh Cakes as this recipe is near and dear to her.  Nia's grandma was known throughout the town for her Welsh Cakes and Nia has continued the tradition!

welsh cakes recipe: 
Makes 36 welsh cakes
prep time: 15 minutes
dough proofing: 20 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes
total time: 55 minutes
equipment needed for welsh cakes

welsh cake ingredients:

  • 1 lb (~3 2/3 cups) self raising flour + some extra for rolling

    • If you don't have self raising flour you can make 1 lb of self raising flour by sifting together 1 lb (~3 1/4 cups) of all purpose flour and 2 Tbsps of baking powder

  • 6 oz of margarine

  • 1 oz of Lard (Nia's grandma's key ingredient but can be substituted for other fats)

  • 7 oz of caster sugar (fine sugar)

  • 2 oz of sultanas 

  • 3 oz of raisins (currants in the UK)

  • 3 eggs frothed

  • Slabs of salted Welsh butter to eat with!


*Some people add cinnamon and nutmeg to give it an extra spice but Nia's grandma's recipe sticks to the traditional ones. 

*if you only have access to raisins or sultanas, or you can't seem to find out the long disputed difference, feel free to use 5 oz of raisins or sultanas only. From our understanding raisins are dried grapes, sultanas are grapes (usually white grapes) dried after being dipped in an acidic solution, and then currants usually refer to dried Black Corinth grapes and have nothing to do with the currant berries that grow in Northern Europe.

  1. In a large mixing bowl add the margarine, lard and flour. Rub the margarine and lard into the flour to a breadcrumb-like consistency 

  2. Mix in the sugar, sultanas and raisins until evenly dispersed

  3. Beat the 3 eggs, this is the most essential part according to Nia's grandma. The eggs must have a great froth!

  4. Mix in the frothy eggs into the dough mix and fold the dough until it is homogenous.

  5. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

  6. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick.

  7. Cut into 3 inch circles or fun shapes using your cookie cutters.

  8. Dry-cook them (no fat needed) on a hot griddle or cast iron frying pan until golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes on each side.

  9. Allow them to cool on a cooling rack.

  10. Enjoy the Welsh Cakes with a slab of Welsh butter and a "cuppa" (cup of tea)!

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