Welsh Cakes (Picau ar y maen)

Welsh Cakes (Picau ar y maen) Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Yield: 16

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


  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.

Barely adapted from BBC Good Food.

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