Welsh Cakes

Baking has recently taken over the uk. The BBC is overwhelmed by baking shows that look for the best home baker, the best non-professional bakery, the best regional baked good… the list goes on. As a big fan of baking, I love these shows! They are introducing me to different techniques and flavour combinations that I otherwise wouldn’t have been confident enough to try. While there are lots of different variations of baked goods, I rarely come across something I had never heard of before. That was until I saw a show focusing on a bakery that only makes Welsh Cakes. I had never heard of welsh cakes before. Being something new, I had to try my hand at them.The idea behind a Welsh Cake is a baked good that you can make with minimal ingredients and time to be served with a cup of tea. Instead of baked, they are griddled which meant you didn’t need to own an oven. Like shortbread, they are made with minimal ingredients making Welsh cakes a relatively cheap treat. It is the ideal baked good for the ‘on-no-someone-is-coming-over-any-minute-and-I-haven’t-got-anything-to-feed-them’ moments. You can go from a pile of ingredients to cooked cakes in 20 minutes or less.

The best way I can think of describing a Welsh cake is as a scone meets a pancake. They really are everything they claim to be: a quick, easy snack to make that is seriously easy.

Makes 16 Welsh cakes

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar (use 6 tbsp if you only have granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening + a little more for frying
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • splash milk (if necessary)
  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and the pinch of salt.
  2. Dice the butter and shortening into cubes.
  3. Add the fats to the flour mixture and combine using a pastry cutter until the butter and shortening are evenly distributed. You will end up with a course mixture that resembles a pastry base with a lot of flour.
  4. Add the raisins and mix until they are evenly distributed.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the batter and crack the egg into it.
  6. Mix the egg into the flour by using a knife to cut in through. At this point, the dough should be starting to come together.
  7. If necessary, add a touch of milk to make the dough form. Ideally you won’t need the milk so try to be sparse with it.
  8. Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it reached thumb thickness.
  9. Cut out the circular welsh cakes using cookie cutter or a tumbler. Re-roll the scraps to get the most out of the batter. I ended up with one hand made (and lumpy) welsh cake that used up the end of the scraps that were too small to be rolled.
  10. Put a heavy frying pan on medium heat and grease with a little shortening  Don’t use butter here as it will burn.
  11. Once the pan is hot, add as many welsh cakes as it will hold.
  12. Cook until the bottom is a lovely golden brown, about 3 mins.
  13. Flip the welsh cakes and (again) cook until brown.
  14. Repeat until you have a nice pile of yummy welsh cakes. Add shortening  as necessary.
  15. Try to serve the cakes hot with butter and jam. Store leftovers in a dry tin.
  16. Enjoy :)
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