welsh cakes

Welsh cakes

  • makes 8-10
  • Easy

Baked on a griddle, these Welsh cakes by Regula Ysewijn take no time at all and make for the perfect afternoon treat

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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

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Ingredients

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

Method

  • 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**

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