Celebrate St David’s Day in style with these traditional Welsh Cakes (Picau ar y maen.) These delicately spiced mini cakes are made the traditional way using lard, butter, and juicy sultanas. Welsh cakes are so quick and easy to make that they will soon become your new favourite teatime treat.
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Hey guys! I hope you’re enjoying the weekend.
I don’t usually post on the weekends, but did you know that on the 1st March tomorrow will be St David’s Day?
OK, so I’m not Welsh or anything, but if you’re anything like me, it’s a great reason to celebrate it with food. I mean, I celebrate Mother’s Day twice because here in the UK Mother’s Day is in March or sometimes April, and US Mother’s Day is in May. Double celebrations FTW!
And anything that’s covered in sugar is fair game in my book! 😉
You know what? Welsh cakes are just that, little cakes covered in sugar! #mylifeiscomplete
I first discovered these delicious little cakes a couple of years ago from Foodie Penpals. I was matched up with a lovely lady from England who lived in Wales. She sent me a big bag of traditional Welsh cakes from Cardiff.
I remember pulling one of these little sugar-coated flat cakes from the bag and wondering what the heck they were.
Then there was massive debate going on in my head. Am I supposed to eat them warm or cold? Do I eat them alone, or spread or sandwich them? What the heck do I spread them with?
It was kind of one of those cartoon moments where you see an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Enough already, just put it in your mouth!
It was definitely love at first bite.
Ever since that first bite, I’ve been craving more. I wanted to make my Welsh cakes in the most traditional way possible, but that meant having to pick up a bake stone.
I managed to get a new double-sided cast iron griddle which would be perfect for these cakes.
They can also be cooked in a frying pan. I prefer my cast iron griddle as it heats evenly and gently — these cakes need to be cooked gently so the outside doesn’t cook too quickly leaving the inside raw.
It’s kind of hard to explain what Welsh cakes really are.
Texture wise, they kind of like a sweet scone, hard but not crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside with fruit. Welsh cakes are much more sweeter than scones though, especially that wonderful sugar-coated outer.
Oh, and that debate I had going on… Turns out there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy – warm, cold, spread with jam, sandwiched, or by themselves. 🙂
Personally, I love my Welsh Cakes cold and by themselves. Sometimes I’ll occasionally dollop some jam on top.
But they’re definitely best served with a steaming hot cup of tea. 🙂
Welsh Cakes (Picau ar y maen) Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Celebrate St David's Day in style with these traditional Welsh Cakes (Picau ar y maen.) These delicately spiced mini cakes are made the traditional way using lard, butter, and juicy sultanas.
- 225g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 85g (⅜ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 50g (scant ¼ cup) lard, cold and cubed
- 50g (scant ¼ cup) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 50g (⅓ cup) sultanas
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp milk (optional)
- caster (superfine) sugar
- Add the flour, sugar, mixed spice, baking powder, salt, lard and butter into your food processor bowl and pulse until the mixture resemble crumbly breadcrumbs.
- Tip the mixture into a large bowl, add the sultanas and mix until distributed evenly.
- Add the beaten egg and mix with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. If it seems a little too dry, add the milk and work the dough gently. Do not over mix - it should be the same consistency as shortcrust pastry dough.
- Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to around ¼-inch thickness. Cut out rounds using a 6cm (2.4-inch) cutter.
- Grease a flat griddle or heavy frying pan with lard, and heat over a low-medium heat. I'd recommend low for a flat cast iron griddle and allow it to heat for around 5 minutes to heat evenly first.
- Cook the Welsh cakes in batches, for around 3 minutes each side, or until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside. If they're cooking faster than that, turn down the heat as they will be raw in the middle.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool enough to be handled, yet still warm.
- Pour caster (superfine) sugar into a small bowl and roll each of the Welsh cakes to coat.
- Serve cakes warm or cold. With or without jam.
- Welsh cakes will stay fresh in an airtight container for 1 week.
If you'd rather not use lard, you can substitute with shortening - I'd go with a ratio of three-quarters butter and one-quarter shortening otherwise they may become too flakey. Or substitute for all butter.
You can also substitute the sultanas for currants, raisins, or a combination of mixed fruit.
Barely adapted from BBC Good Food.
How would you enjoy your Welsh cakes?