Making Welsh Cakes
Back in the days when Wales was one of the largest producers of coal, men would work in the mines while their wives would stay home and cook or bake for their families. One of the most popular things to bake was Welsh Cakes, a sweet flat scone-like cake. These were popular due to their simple yet tasty recipe and their ability to be easily carried in the miners' pockets. They were also enjoyed at tea times and given to children for their school lunches.
Welsh cakes were also known as 'bakestones' or 'griddle scones' in Wales because traditionally they were baked on a bakestone/cast iron griddle. These days they are often now made with a frying or griddle pan on the hob, however there are still some that prefer to bake them using the traditional Dutch oven or bakestone method.
To celebrate St David's Day on 1st March we thought we'd give this traditional Welsh cake recipe a go.
If you've never tried one before, you are truly missing out! Have a go at making them and enjoy with a nice hot cup of tea or milk.
- 225g plain flour
- 85g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 50g butter, diced into small cubes
- 50g lard, diced into small cubes, plus some extra for frying
- 50g currants
- 1 large free-range egg. beaten
- Splash of milk
1. Place the flour, caster sugar, mixed spice and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix together to combine the dry ingredients.
2. Add the lard and butter into the bowl and using your fingers rub the mixture together until it becomes crumbly.
3. Add the currents and mix them in.
4. Add the beaten egg into the bowl and work it together until it becomes a soft dough consistency. If it feels a little dry, add a splash of milk.
5. Lightly flour your work surface and turn out the dough onto it. Using a rolling pin, roll it out until it is about 1cm thick.
6. Use a 6cm cookie cutter to cut out rounds from the dough. Any leftover trimmings can be re-rolled and more rounds can be cut from them.
7. Using the extra lard, lightly grease a heavy frying pan or flat griddle pan and place on the hob over a medium heat.
8. Cook in batches for around 3 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown in colour.
Serve warm with some fresh butter or jam, or sprinkled with caster sugar.