Welsh Cakes ~ they’re cooked on a griddle like a pancake, but can be eaten out of hand like a scone ~ these sweet, buttery little breakfast cakes are a Welsh tradition that deserve a spot on your brunch or tea table!
What are Welsh cakes ( Pice ar y maen) ?
It’s always fun to make something entirely new, and if you’re not from Wales, you’ve probably never encountered Celtic cakes (aka bakestone cakes) before ~ they’re a little bit hard to describe! They’re similar to scones and biscuits (but thinner,) fried on both sides like pancakes, and you eat them like an English muffin.
The combination of the currants and the subtle but noticeable hint of nutmeg gives these cakes a really interesting and unique flavor that I totally fell in love with. It’s not a combination of flavors or textures that you’re likely to find in any coffee shop or bakery in the US, which is exactly why you need to make them.
I was surprised by how sweet these cakes are. They may look humble and even “wholesome” but they are actually quite a sweet treat, perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning or at tea-time.
The little currants makes these cakes extra special. Look for them with the raisins and other dried fruit in your supermarket. For an American variation you might try dried cranberries.
How to cook Welsh cakes
You’ll cook these cakes like pancakes, on the stove.
- I think the trickiest part about making these Welsh cakes is getting your pan temperature right. Plan on a test-cake or two and you (and your cakes) will be golden!
- They’ll need a couple minutes on each side to cook through, which means you don’t want the pan to be too hot and brown them too much before they’ve had a chance to cook. Oh, and no butter or oil on the pan necessary!
- I found that somewhere between medium/medium-low on my stove was perfect, and I recommend a cast iron pan if you one because they keep a nice even heat. You might have to play around a bit to find the sweet spot on your stove.
What to serve with Welsh cakes ~
These cakes can be dusted with sugar and a little extra spice once they are baked and simply eaten as is, or you can serve them with a variety of toppings.
To reheat Welsh cakes
- The easiest way is to pop them in the toaster!
More breakfast treats ~
- Orange and Cardamom Muffins
- Instant Pot Clotted Cream
- Glazed Old Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnut Bundt Cake
- Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup currants
- 2 eggs plus enough milk to make 3/4 cup liquid.
- extra sugar plus a little nutmeg or cinnamon for dusting (optional)
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl.
- With your hands, mix the cold butter into the flour mixture until the butter is well dispersed and the whole mixture is crumbly. It's ok to have some small chunks of butter.
- Add the currants and mix to combine.
- Briefly whisk the eggs with the milk, and add the liquid to the flour and butter mixture. Mix until everything is just combined. The dough will be very sticky.
- On a floured surface, pat the dough into a disk and gently roll out until it's about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick. You can divide the dough in half and keep half of it in the fridge until you're ready for it if your rolling surface and frying pan/griddle are on the smaller side.
- Cut out the cakes with a 3 or 3 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, and lay them on a baking sheet or a piece of parchment paper until you're ready to cook them.
- Preheat a heavy pan or griddle (cast iron works great here because of its even heating) to medium/medium-low heat, and dry fry (no oil) the cakes. They'll need about 2 or 2 and a half minutes or so on each side. You'll want to make sure your pan is the right temperature so they don't burn on the outside before they get cooked through in the middle, so you might need to do a test-cake or two. Cook them until they're lightly golden and spring back when gently touched.
- Mix a tablespoon or two of extra sugar with a pinch of nutmeg and/or cinnamon, and dust the finished cakes, if desired. Serve warm with butter, jam, clotted cream, or eat them as is!