Welsh Cakes (Picau ar y maen)

Yield: 16

Welsh Cakes (Picau ar y maen) Recipe

Welsh Cakes Recipe (Picau ar y maen) by Sweet2EatBaking.com

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.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Tip the mixture into a large bowl, add the sultanas and mix until distributed evenly.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool enough to be handled, yet still warm.
  8. Pour caster (superfine) sugar into a small bowl and roll each of the Welsh cakes to coat.
  9. Serve cakes warm or cold. With or without jam.
  10. 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.

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17 Comments on “Welsh Cakes (Picau ar y maen)”

  1. MaryB — February 28, 2015 @6:24 pm Reply

    Love this idea! We often celebrate St. David's Day with friends (all the men are named David, btw). I am not familiar with "mixed spice". What does it contain so I can recreate it to make these delicious goodies? Thanks so much.

    1. Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking — February 28, 2015 @8:51 pm Reply

      I didn't realise mixed spice was one of those UK only products until now = adding this to my ever-expanding mental list! :lol: I'll adjust the notes too, thanks for letting me know.

      I did do a quick Google search, it looks as though our mixed spice is very similar to your pumpkin pie spice in the US, so I guess you could substitute that?

      Here's what mixed spice has in it: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves allspice. Try adding 1 tsp of each and using that as your mixed spice mix if you don't fancy using the pumpkin pie spice.

      Thanks for stopping by, Mary. Enjoy St David's day with all the Davids! :)

      1. MaryB — February 28, 2015 @9:10 pm Reply

        Thanks so much. Love your site and visit here very often. Trying these tomorrow!

  2. Becky — February 28, 2015 @7:31 pm Reply

    I had never heard of welsh cakes but they sound delicious! I bet they would be great with a steaming cup of tea!!

    1. Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking — February 28, 2015 @8:52 pm Reply

      Another reason to celebrate with a delicious mini cake. You're right, they're amazing with a strong British cup of tea.

      Thanks for stopping by, Becky.

  3. Choc Chip Uru — March 1, 2015 @12:40 am Reply

    Your cakes look so enticing, delicious :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain — March 1, 2015 @1:13 am Reply

    Anything that's covered in sugar should be fair game in EVERYONE'S book. :D Like mine heehee. I don't even need a reason or holiday to dive into this lovely little cakes! :D

  5. Thalia @ butter and brioche — March 1, 2015 @3:18 am Reply

    I've never made or tried welsh cakes before but after seeing this recipe I am so motivated to make them. They look delicious!

  6. Catherine — March 1, 2015 @6:29 pm Reply

    I am in absolute love with these! I cannot wait to try them...pinned for later. xo, Catherine

  7. tovie — March 1, 2015 @9:34 pm Reply

    There's always a booth at the renaissance faire here that sells bags of these. They are to die for. Everybody calls them 'ren faire crack' cause they're soooo good and so addictive. I always have to buy a bag to eat at faire and a couple more to take home. I keep meaning to look up a recipe and try making them. I'll have to print your recipe and give them a try :)

    Along with the traditional flavor, they do a blueberry, a cranberry orange, a chocolate and a pumpkin version.

  8. Jessica @ Sweet Menu — March 2, 2015 @3:37 am Reply

    Oooh I've never had one of these welsh cakes before but they look delish! Such pretty pics!

  9. Liz — March 4, 2015 @2:16 am Reply

    I love having my own little cake! Especially one dusted in sugar---yum!!! These Welsh cakes look terrific.

  10. Barra Jacob-McDowell — June 4, 2015 @6:15 pm Reply

    What can I substitute for the lard? I am VIOLENLTY allergic to pork products! Thank you!

    1. Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking — June 4, 2015 @6:20 pm Reply

      Hi, you can substitute with shortening or all butter. However, I'd go with a ratio of three-quarters butter and one-quarter shortening otherwise they may become too flaky with all shortening.

      Hope that helps? Thanks for stopping by.


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