Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! – Mwynhewch picau ar y maen…

Are you Cymry?

Then you know what the words above mean.

For those who don’t read or speak the Welsh language, here’s the translation:

Happy St. David’s Day! Enjoy Welsh Cakes.

Native to Wales, as their name suggests, Welsh Cakes are the perfect breakfast on the feast day of their native country’s patron saint, St. David — celebrated each year on March 1.

These soft, tender cakes are a cross between a pancake and a baking powder biscuit, with a touch of cookie and muffin thrown in for good measure.

Sturdy enough to be eaten out of hand, they can be served plain; sprinkled with sugar (or cinnamon-sugar, our favorite); or spread with butter, and gilded with sugar or jam.

In addition, they’re excellent the next day, warmed in the toaster as you’d warm toaster cakes.

Or not. Frankly, these little cakes are so melt-in-your-mouth tender, they don’t even need to be re-warmed.

Intrigued? Let’s make Welsh Cakes.

Place the following in a mixing bowl:

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (depending on what type of butter you use; see below)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Whisk until well combined.

Cut 1 cup (half a pound) of cold butter into pats or cubes; don’t fuss over this, just chop it up.

If you use salted butter, use 1/4 teaspoon salt in the recipe. If unsalted butter is your choice, use 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Add the butter to the dry ingredients.

Work it in until the mixture is fairly evenly crumbly; a few larger pieces of butter can remain.

Next, we’re going to add 3/4 to 1 cup of currants.

These tiny dried grapes (pictured at right, above, next to golden raisins, for scale) will disperse nicely throughout your cakes. If you want to substitute raisins, it’s best to chop them up before use.

Add the currants to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.

Put 2 large eggs in a measuring cup. Add enough milk to measure 3/4 cup liquid total.

Whisk to combine. You should have 3/4 cup liquid.

Add the milk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients.

Mix until well combined.

Scrape the sticky dough off the sides and bottom of the bowl, divide it in half…

…and plop the halves onto a very well-floured work surface.

A word to the wise – imagine how easy it’ll be to clean up if you use a silicone mat

Shape each piece of dough into a thick, 4” to 5” disc.

Wrap one piece in plastic, and refrigerate it while you’re working with the other piece.

Roll the soft dough into a 9 1/2” circle; it should be about 1/4” thick.

Be sure to lift up the dough and flour underneath it as you roll, so it doesn’t stick. A giant spatula works well here.

Using a 2 1/2″ to 3 1/2″ biscuit cutter or other round cutter, cut the dough into circles. If you’re cutting on silicone, BE GENTLE; pressing down too hard may score the silicone.

Gather and re-roll the scraps, cutting until you’ve used all the dough.

Heat an ungreased skillet over low-medium heat; an electric frying pan or skillet, set at 325°F, works well.

Here are your cakes, ready to fry.

It’s best to fry one test cake first, to see if your pan is the right temperature.

Fry the cake for about 2 1/2 minutes on the first side…

…then about 2 1/2 minutes on the second side, until it’s golden brown and cooked through.

Pull the cake apart; it should separate easily, and shouldn’t look wet inside. Moist is fine; gummy isn’t.

Adjust the temperature of the pan or grill if necessary to cook the cake all the way through.

Onward!

Place the remainder of the cakes on your griddle; or fry however many you can at a time.

An electric griddle is super-handy – not only can you adjust its temperature easily, you can fry a dozen cakes at once!

Transfer the cakes to a rack to cool.

Cut and fry the remaining cakes; since the dough’s been refrigerated, let the cut cakes warm for about 10 minutes at room temperature before frying.

If you want to serve all the cakes warm, stow the first batch in a 200°F oven while you fry the second batch.

To serve, dust with cinnamon-sugar or superfine sugar.

A tea strainer does a nice job.

Split the cakes if you like, and spread with butter and/or jam. A pot of tea is the perfect accompaniment.

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Welsh Cakes.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Jessica S. Davies

    I just had to drop a note to tell you that after a trip to Cardiff in March 2017, I have been hoping to find a good recipe for Welsh cakes as good as the ones I had there. This recipe is PERFECT! They come out soft but firm, are delicious, keep well, and sold at our recent event like… well, like Welsh hot-cakes, as it were. Not entirely a cure for “hiraeth” but it sure makes it a little easier 🙂

    Reply
  2. Bonnie

    Delicious! Welsh Baker makes them in America gluten free with fine oat flour and they are amazing.
    Just a note, currents are not grapes. They are dried berries from a small bushy tree shrub. Makes great jam, jelly, juice and dry fruit in black or red color. Available at most Ikea stores.

    Reply
    1. Humphries

      The dried currants called for in this recipe and most others are Zante currants and are in fact a small variety of grape that has been dried.

  3. Ted Shatz

    I think I’ve kept this recipe for longer than it’d take for a puppy to become an adult. Now I’m gluten intolerant (I know it after blood tests and fasting). To make a long question short – can I substitute KAF’s Measure-For-Measure gluten-free flour for All-Purpose?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Ted, we’ve got good news. There’s still time for you to enjoy a homemade Welsh Cake. Go ahead and use our Measure for Measure Flour in place of the all-purpose flour, and be sure to include the baking powder and salt that’s called for. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

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