Make a batch of Welsh cakes, then check out our bara brith, rock cakes, Earl grey teacakes and more afternoon tea recipes.

This Welsh cake recipe comes from Regula Ysewijn's British baking book Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The History of British Baking, Savoury and Sweet (Murdoch Books, £25). Photography by Regula Ysewijn. You can buy the book from Amazon here.

These griddle cakes come from Wales but are commonly eaten throughout Britain. In Welsh they have a couple of names: picau ar y maen, pice bach and cacen gri. The word ‘maen’ means bakestone, referring to the fact that Welsh cakes are baked on a griddle. Welsh cakes were sometimes called Bakestones. The Yorkshire Evening Post from
15 April 1935 reported: ‘The other day I gave a recipe for Welsh bakestone cakes ...’

Welsh cakes recipe


  • 25g chilled butter
  • 25g lard (or more butter)
  • 150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g white sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 35g currants


  • STEP 1

    Rub the butter and lard, if using, into the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Add the golden syrup, egg and milk and use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine everything. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more milk. You’re aiming for the consistency of scone dough.

  • STEP 2

    Finally, knead in the currants and roll out the dough on a floured work surface to a thickness of 1.5 cm. Use a 6-7cm cutter to cut out circles. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting out circles until you have used all of the dough.

  • STEP 3

    Place a cast-iron pan on the stove to heat up. Use a pinch of flour or a bit of the dough to test the heat of the pan. If it burns immediately, it is too hot. When it takes a few minutes to brown, it is perfect.

  • STEP 4

    Bake the cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Generously sprinkle with caster sugar while still warm.

**Please note that this recipe has not been tested by the olive magazine cookery team**


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating