Welsh Cakes are traditional Welsh treats that are a great recipe to make with kids, and so delicious. Why not have a go at making a batch of fresh cooked welsh cakes for St. David’s Day, today March 1st!?! (St. David is the patron saint of Wales, in the same way that Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland). There is also a printable with an easy-to-follow recipe that the kids can color, with the Welsh dragon (from the Welsh flag) tucking into a Welsh cake!
Welsh Cake Recipe Printable (just download and print)
At first glance, Welsh cakes look a little bit like scones that haven’t risen, but don’t let that fool you, when you cook them yourself you’ll find that they are moist and sweet (but not too sweet) and perfect for a little treat with a cup of tea or glass of milk.
Most Welsh cake recipes call for currants, but when we make them at home we substitute in sultanas (or golden raisins in America) because the kids prefer them. Another change we make at home is that we use a non-stick frying pan to cook our Welsh cakes. Traditionally a cast iron griddle stone is used, but like pretty much everyone else out there, we don’t have one and the frying pan works just fine!
Welsh Cake Recipe
Ingredients (makes approximately 20 small welsh cakes)
250g (1.05 cup) self raising flour
A pinch of mixed spice
Half a tsp of baking powder
A pinch of salt
125g (4.4 oz or 8.3 tbsp) unsalted butter
75g (1/3 cup) castor sugar (also caster sugar, a fine grind of granulated sugar)
50g (1/5 cup) sultanas
5 tsps of milk
A little bit of oil to grease the frying pan for cooking.
1. Sieve flour, baking powder, mixed spice and salt into a bowl.
2. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in the sultanas and castor sugar.
4. Mix in the egg and milk until a stiff dough forms (add extra milk if needed)
5. Chill the dough in the fridge for half an hour.
6. Roll out to about 1cm (little less than 1/2 inch) thick on a floured surface and cut out your Welsh cakes. Most traditional welsh cakes are cut with a circular cutter with fluted edges, but any shape that isn’t fiddly will do.
7. Cook in a lightly greased frying pan or on a griddle at a medium heat for about three minutes on each side, until they are lightly browned (about five or six small welsh cakes in the pan at once).
8. Place to cool on a plate that has a sprinkling of castor sugar on it and sprinkle a little more over the top.
Traditional welsh cakes always use the mixed spice and currants/raisins/sultanas combination, but you can play around with the recipe to a certain extent to make your own custom “Not Very Welsh Cakes.” Try some of your own favorite flavors with the basic dough. We’ve tried chopped up crystallized ginger, dried cranberries, and dried mango all together with delicious results! The lemon zest and poppy seed combo that works so well with scones also tastes top notch!
It is entirely possible to make some very nice savory versions by removing the sugar and adding ingredients like grated cheese or mustard, and precooked chopped leeks or tinned sweet corn. This makes a very versatile snack that can be easily popped in a lunch box or brought along for an extra after school energy boost. The savory version photographed below has both leek and sweet corn in it, with some ground almond replacing the sugar in the recipe, and goes really well with some fruit, cheese, and chutney on the side!
You can make life much easier by making a lot and freezing them. Although cooked welsh cakes freeze well, I’d suggest cutting out and freezing raw welsh cakes so you can get that just baked awesomeness each time. Once they are frozen on a tray you can stack them into baggies in the freezer with a bit of parchment paper between each one. Then all you need to do is pull them out to defrost and cook them as normal to have a fresh, fast and tasty savory snack or sweet treat.
Use our printable and decorative recipe sheet with your kids to make your own batch of traditional Welsh cakes this St David’s Day (or any day, because once you’ve tried them you’ll want to make them again and again!).