Homemade Welsh Cakes
I love a Welsh Cake! We grew up with them, living in Wales, I guess you would! So, I was surprised to find out, that, outside of Wales, unless you’ve been or have a connection to Wales, that you wouldn’t know what a Welsh Cake was!
There are many different recipes for Welsh Cake, as it was a family recipe handed down. I always prefer simple, and so I thought I’d share mine with you….
Describe a Welsh Cake
How to describe them to someone who has never had a Welsh Cake?? You could say they are a cross between a scone and a cake and a pancake, but at the same time none of these!
They are made very simply, but still considered a treat. They are not baked, they are traditionally made on a ‘plank’ a round (usually) iron griddle and are eaten straight off the plank smothered in melting butter-delicious!
The Welsh Cakes I bake are gorgeous straight off the plank but they are never quite as nice the following day, and for that reason, I give my lovely guests Tan yr Castell Welsh Cakes. Made in Narberth, only a few miles from us, and apparently the Queen’s favourite Welsh Cakes! So, when I was undertaking my taste testing for Welsh Cakes a few years ago, that swung it for me. If they’re good enough for the Queen, then they’re good enough for me! And, apart from that, they are by far the nicest Welsh Cake you will try, outside of having one straight off the plank, or griddle, it can be called.
How I cook Mine
I cook on an Aga, and so the cooler plate is like one big griddle, so I cook my Welsh Cakes on a sheet of silicone placed straight on my Aga plate.
When I’m making Welsh Cakes for myself, I make them with Gluten Free Flour and Xylitol, as I am Gluten free and trying to be sugar free. In my recipe, you can straight swop the flour for GF Flour and the Sugar for Xylitol if you so wish. The recipe I use also uses Sultanas, and it is only recently I have discovered the way in which Sultanas are created(grapes dipped in vegetable oil and then acid), so I think going forward, I will just use Raisins(just grapes dried naturally) instead. I do like Flame Raisins.
To finish a Welsh Cake once cooked, you can either spread with butter, eat plain or dust with sugar-whichever takes your fancy.
Some recipes add in some mixed spice, so feel free to do this to create a slightly different flavour and today, with modern trends, there are now popping up savoury Welsh Cakes-Leek & Cheese and a Breakfast Welsh Cake. I’ve had Leek & Cheese ones with a bowl of Cawl (traditional Welsh Soup)and it was perfectly ok, I just can’t quite get my head around a savoury Welsh Cake. I’m the same with pancakes-I can’t do savoury pancakes either-sweet all the way, with lashings of syrup & double cream for me. Does my throat no good at all (the sugar) but I do love them!
Anyway, if you’d like to try some Welsh Cakes of all flavours, then visit Mamgu, a café in the main street in Solva(there you go, a reason to visit Solva). The girls here are famed for both their traditional Welsh Cakes but also blazing a trail in the savoury market too. They make a mean Cawl also!
So, here’s my recipe:
225 gm Self Raising Flour
110 gm Butter
85 gm Caster Sugar
Handful of sultanas
1 free range egg(beat)
Milk (to add, if the dough is a bit dry)
Sift the flour into a large bowl
Cube up the still cold butter and ‘rub’ into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs
Add the sugar and mix well
Add the sultanas and mix well
Add the egg and mix well until the mixture forms a dough, continue mixing and the dough should come to a ball.
If the mixture is too dry, then add a little milk, little by little until you get a nice form dough.
Roll out onto a floured worktop (if you’re using GF flour, then roll between 2 pieces of parchment) until approx. 0.5cm thick
Using a cookie cutter, cut out your shapes (traditionally round)
Heat your griddle (or frying pan) rub some oil on the surface with a paper towel, to stop sticking
Pop your cut out Welsh Cakes onto your griddle or frying pan
Leave for a few minutes only-check frequently
Once brown then flip and cook the other side
This is why you want them only about 0.5cm thick, as they need to cook through to the middle, otherwise you will be eating raw dough!
Once cooked, pop on a wire tray to cool them store in an airtight tin.
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