Welsh Cakes

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quick-n-easy
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 dozen 2 3/4" cakes

Recipe photo

These soft, tender cakes are a cross between a pancake and a baking powder biscuit, with elements of cookies and muffins thrown in for good measure. Sturdy enough to be eaten out of hand, they can be served plain; sprinkled with sugar (or cinnamon-sugar, our favorite); or spread with butter, and gilded with sugar or jam. In addition, they're excellent the next day, warmed in the toaster as you'd warm toaster cakes.

Native to Wales, as their name suggests, Welsh Cakes are the perfect breakfast on the feast day of their native country's patron saint, St. David — celebrated each year on March 1.

Welsh Cakes

star rating (15) rate this recipe »
quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 dozen 2 3/4" cakes
Published: 01/04/2011

Ingredients

  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour OR 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour*
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon salt**
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup cold butter**, cut into pats or diced
  • 3/4 to 1 cup currants
  • 2 large eggs beaten with enough milk to yield 3/4 cup liquid
  • **Use 1/4 teaspoon salt if you use salted butter; 3/4 teaspoon if you use unsalted butter.
  • *See "tips," below.

Tips from our bakers

  • If you use self-rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt in the recipe.

Directions

see this recipe's blog »

1) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

2) Work in the butter until the mixture is fairly evenly crumbly; a few larger pieces of butter can remain.

3) Mix in the currants.

4) Add the milk/egg mixture, mixing until the everything is moistened.

5) Turn the sticky dough out onto a well-floured work surface, and divide it in half. Shape each half into a thick, 4" to 5" disc. Cover one of the discs with plastic, and refrigerate. Leave the other on the floured work surface.

6) Roll the soft dough into a 9 1/2" circle; it should be about 1/4" thick. Be sure to lift up the dough and flour underneath it as you roll, so it doesn't stick.

7) Using a 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" biscuit or other round cutter, cut the dough into circles. Gather and re-roll the scraps, cutting until you've used all the dough.

8) Heat an ungreased skillet over low-medium heat; an electric frying pan or skillet, set at 325°F, works well here.

9) Fry the cakes for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side, until they're golden brown and cooked all the way through. It's best to fry one sample cake first, to see if your pan is the right temperature.

10) Transfer the fried cakes to a rack to cool.

11) Repeat with the refrigerated dough. Cut the circles, then let them warm at room temperature for about 10 minutes before frying.

12) Dust the finished cakes with cinnamon-sugar or superfine (castor) sugar; or split them, butter, and spread with jam. A pot of tea is the perfect accompaniment.

Yield: about 2 dozen 2 3/4" cakes.

Reviews

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  • star rating 03/22/2015
  • Jaye from Dallas, TX
  • The taste of these was delicious, but did anyone else struggle when frying them? I had to add butter (a surprise since the recipe called for one cup), and if so, what was your solution? They were simply burning without.

    Try reducing the temperature on the grill if they are browning too fast. A quick blast with pan spray might be better than adding more butter next time. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  • star rating 03/10/2015
  • member-mosslake1 from KAF Community
  • Easy and delicious! I used KAF's raspberry jammy bits instead of raisins or currants and my family loved them. Thanks for such a great recipe, KAF!
  • star rating 02/14/2015
  • Nadine from White Bear Lake, MN
  • We love Welsh cakes so my sister in law always brings some from Wales when coming to visit. Decided to try my hand at making these for my sweetheart on Valentine's Day - just finishing up. He's diabetic so substituted Truvia baking blend for the sugar. They are delicious! Can't wait til he gets home to this treat.
  • star rating 01/26/2015
  • Manette from Carmel Valley
  • This recipe is as described producing a cake reminiscent of a cross between a pancake and a scone, No currants so I cut raisins in half and thirds. These are easy to make on my electric griddle and cooked up just like the KA photo. My husband loves raisins so I am always happy to find a new recipe that I can put them into.
  • star rating 03/01/2014
  • lindabenavides from KAF Community
  • I could not quite get mine to look as round and evenly browned as the beautiful picture, but the taste is amazing with a cup of hot tea. These little "cakes" were easy, quick and delicious. Thanks for posting to Facebook and drawing me in!
  • star rating 12/01/2013
  • Sara from San Diego, CA
  • Wonderful taste and texture! My kids can't help eating them. Especial thanks to all king Arthur's staffs for their effort.
  • star rating 11/10/2013
  • Mel from Ohio
  • I made these with 1 cup (measured before chopping) of chopped dried apricots and 1/2 cup of stick almonds in place of the currants. In addition, I found the dough too annoying to roll out, so went with the scoop/roll ball/flatten method, adding a bit of flour as needed. It worked very well, and they taste delicious. Thanks!
  • star rating 03/01/2013
  • cathy carden from KAF Community
  • Dydd gwyl Dewi hapus! Dioch(thanks) for the wonderfull work that you all do at KAF. The Welsh Cakes are very good and easy to make.
  • star rating 10/18/2012
  • klokanek from KAF Community
  • Just made these, using the volume measurements and mixing very little. AMAZING--they are flaky, more like a biscuit than a scone, and having made Eccles Cakes recently, these seem just about as good and a LOT less work. I used real currants, which really have no substitute but are only available online for most of us, and the cinnamon-sugar sprinkle while fresh off the griddle. Thank you!
  • star rating 01/19/2012
  • Naomi from SoCal
  • Never tried welsh cakes before so I didn't know what to expect but these little guys were delicious. I made the dough the night before I cooked them using the food processor and chilled in fridge. The blades chopped up the large raisins I used to currant size. I made 2 other recipes of welsh cakes at the same time, same method, making dough the night before. Of the 3 recipes I tried this one is the favorite. Has the most butter in it too ;) These reheated nicely in the toaster oven as leftovers all week long.
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