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Best Welsh Cake Recipe Ever!

This is a recipe my (Welsh) mother-in-law has used for 40 years, which was handed down to her – so this really is the best Welsh cake recipe ever! In honour of St David’s Day, the Patron Saint of Wales, on 1t March, we thought we’d share this amazingly delicious recipe with you!

It’s one thing to find a random recipe from the internet or a recipe book which works. On the other hand, nothing compares to a tried-and-trusted recipe used over decades. Handed down from one family member to another, you know you’re onto a winner. For that reason, whenever I need to bake a batch, I pull out my mother-in-law’s Welsh Cake recipe.

Where did Welsh Cakes come from?

For history buffs, Welsh Cakes have been firm favourites in post part of Wales since the 1800s. Across Wales they were traditionally cooked on a baking stone, and the names given to the cakes had regional Welsh variations. They are definitely at the more rustic end of the baking spectrum. Welsh cakes are a great example of the wholesome and resourceful nature of the Welsh people, often using up leftover ingredients to knock up a batch of Welsh Cakes.

What is a Welsh Cake?

Think of them as either (a) a chunky, doughy cookie or (b) a really flat scone. They use similar ingredients to a scone but are rather excitingly cooked on a griddle or baking stone. Importantly, they aren’t put in the oven. As a result they stay nice and moist. They are a nice balance between sweet and savoury (like a mixed fruit scone).

How many Welsh cakes does this recipe make?

Look, we’re celebrating the Patron Saint of Wales here, so one or two cakes won’t cut it. We need a feast. If you’re careful with the ingredients below and avoid wastage, you can potentially make up to 50 Welsh Cakes from this recipe! That should be enough to feed the family!

Welsh Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • Self-raising flour – 450g
  • Butter – 225g
  • Granulated sugar – 225g
  • Sultanas – 225g
  • Free range eggs – 2

Obviously this recipe is over 40 years old so there was a limited range of sugars available at the time – so you could also do this recipe with caster sugar if you preferred.

Equipment you will need

In addition to the usual kit like mixing bowl, rolling pin, wooden spoon etc, you will also need a 6cm diameter cake cutter. Ideally you will also have a cast-iron skillet or baking stone for that authentic taste. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, a heavy-bottomed dry frying pan should work just as well.

Welsh Cake Method

Prepare the mixture

In a large mixing bowl, rub the flour and butter together. A top tip here – grate the butter when it is cold straight from the fridge!

Add the sugar and sultanas and fold in.

Add the eggs to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon, spatula or your hands to mix together.

If you struggle to get the mixture to bind together, add a couple of tablespoons of milk – but not too much!

Take a handful of mixture at a time and roll out onto a well-floured surface. Cut out circles of Welsh Cakes using the 6cm cutter and put to one side. Don’t waste any mixture – put the leftover rolled-out mixture back in the bowl.

Baking the cakes

Heat up a griddle or frying pan (as above) and bake the cakes. You’ll be able to fit on 5-6 at a time, leaving enough gap between them to turn. You want the griddle to be medium-hot. Bake for a couple of minutes each side until golden brown. Take off the heat and put to one side to cool. They will take about 45-60 minutes to cool, but are delicious eaten warm. This recipe freezes very well.

Depending on how proficient you are, you should be able to make 45-50 Welsh Cakes from this recipe – the only welsh cake recipe you’ll ever need. Trust us.

Finally, it is time to tuck in. They can be eaten as they are or you can add your favourite scone or pancake topping. For example, you could add lashings of butter, sugar, jam or syrup. Lush.

Saint David would be proud!

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