So… My mom is British. She was born in Cardiff, Wales and moved to the U.S. when she married my dad. Even though I grew up in the South, my favorite foods have always been British foods because that’s what I grew up on! I’ll trade biscuits & gravy for roast & gravy (“Sunday Dinner”) any day. Maybe one day I’ll write a blog post about my favorite British foods… But today, I’m just talking about one.
My grandmother, aunts, and great aunts from Wales have been making Welsh cakes for us when we visit as long as I can remember. They are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. However, I’ve never tried to bake them on my own. Little did I know, making Welsh cakes is an art.
The term “cake” is a bit misleading for these little guys. I would say they are a cross between a scone and a pancake with raisins inside and sugar sprinkled on the top. While the recipe is simple, the technique for perfecting them is difficult. However, I wanted to share the recipe that has been passed down in my family for making these “tea time” treats.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need…
- 225g = 1 cup of self rising flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of all spice
- 100g of softened unsalted butter (this is almost a full stick – just cut off 3/4 tablespoon on the end) – Plus you’ll need more butter for cooking.
- 20g = 1/4 cup of caster sugar (This one is TRICKY to find. Caster sugar is just extra finely granulated sugar, which is basically all of the sugar you find in American grocery stores. Just go with what you have here.) Plus you’ll need extra sugar for sprinkling on top.
- 50g = 1/2 cup of sultanas, raisins, or currents (I prefer raisins)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of whole milk (we actually used skim)
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons of lard (you can also use butter as a replacement here instead, but my mom warned that butter tends to burn faster. Just keep an eye on this if you use butter).
Here is what you’ll need to do…
- Measure out dry ingredients (flour, salt, all spice, sugar) and mix together
- Take softened butter and “cut” it in with your fingers into the dry mixture. Basically, you’ll just pinch the butter into the flour until the butter is well incorporated and you have little chunks (unless you have a pastry blender, which I don’t).
- Mix in egg and milk – You may need to add more milk if your dough is too dry. Just know, you’ll need to be able to roll out the dough.
- Fold in raisins/ currents/ etc.
- Next, you’re going to want to flour a surface to roll out the dough. The goal is to create a flat “pancake” of about 1/4 inch thick. If they are too thick, they won’t cook all the way through the middle (trust me on this one ha).
- Once you have an even, rolled out dough, use a cookie cutter to cut small circles (my mom has a fancy cutter for Welsh cakes but a small cup would do the trick). The size you want is about the size of a small sugar cookie.
- Heat a griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees or medium heat
- Spread lard on the hot pan/ griddle and then add in your raw Welsh cakes
- Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, spreading extra butter between the Welsh cakes as the lard dries up
- As soon as they are taken off the pan/ griddle, sprinkle a bit more sugar on the top – this is best done when they are warm.
- You are done! I would recommend pulling 1 off first and cutting it open to ensure it’s done in the middle before pulling them all off. It’s tricky to get these guys done in the middle because they will get a nice golden brown color on the top/ bottom quickly.
Happy baking! Let me know if you try this favorite from my “motherland” 🙂