Welsh cakes by zingyyellow
Welsh cakes, a photo by zingyyellow on Flickr.

From the land that brought you the unforgettable village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndro-bwllllantysiliogogogoch (click to the link to hear it pronounced) comes a tasty treat that has been described as a cross between a fruit scone and a pancake. Welsh Cakes (bakestones or picau ar y maen in Wales) are made from flour, sultanas, raisins, and/or currants, and may be seasoned with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. A couple of inches in diameter and half and inch thick, these little cakes are lightly dusted with caster sugar before being gobbled up by Welsh boys and girls. 

But you don’t have to go to Wales to enjoy this regional specialty, here is a recipe for Welsh Cakes that you can easily make at home to accompany your next pot of tea

[A non-metric version for my American friends]

225g/8oz self-raising flour, sieved

110g/4oz (preferably Welsh) salted butter
1 egg
handful of sultanas
milk, if needed
85g/3oz caster sugar
extra butter, for greasing

  1. Rub the fat into the sieved flour to make breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, dried fruit and then the egg. Mix to combine, then form a ball of dough, using a splash of milk if needed.
  2. Roll out the pastry until it is a 5mm/┬╝in thick and cut into rounds with a 7.5-10cm/3-4in fluted cutter.
  3. You now need a bakestone or a heavy iron griddle. Rub it with butter and wipe the excess away. Put it on to a direct heat and wait until it heats up, place the Welsh cakes on the griddle, turning once. They need about 2-3 minutes each side. Each side needs to be caramel brown before turning although some people I know like them almost burnt.
  4. Remove from the pan and dust with caster sugar while still warm. 

Keep in mind that, unlike scones, Welsh Cakes are usually eaten “in the raw”, without being slathered with lashings of jam and cream. However, it is acceptable to create a variation, “jam split”, which involves splitting the cakes horizontally and spreading with jam (and perhaps butter) to make a kind of sandwich.

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Written by Abigail Young

I've had a passion for everything British my entire life, despite being raised as a small-town girl in the American Midwest, After years of dreaming, I got the chance to live and work in England for an entire year. Now I write about my favorite country, and hopefully inspire my fellow Britophiles to get over there and experience it for themselves.

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