Welsh cakes are a smaller, but similar version of Scottish girdle scones. This Welsh cake recipe is made on a griddle (as it should be), so it’s easy whip up a batch anytime you like, but especially for St. David’s Day on March 1st.
I have recipes from Scotland, Ireland and England on my site, but these Welsh cakes are my first from Wales.
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Given that the patron saint of Wales is St. David, and St. David’s Day is March 1st, it seemed apropos.
When is St. David’s Day?
St. David’s Day is celebrated on March 1st.
Here’s a recipe for Welsh Rarebit to celebrate, as well.
Who Was St. David?
Sometimes we celebrate saints’ days and have no clue about who they were or what they did, right? I knew he is the patron saint of Wales, but that’s all, so here are a few things about St. David from BBC Wales.
What is the Difference Between Welsh Cakes and Scottish Girdle Scones?
The biggest difference in flavor between Welsh Cakes and Scottish Girdle Scones is the addition of mixed spice. If you’re not in the UK, you won’t be able to find it in your neighborhood grocery stores. Although you can find it on Amazon, it’s so easy to make at home. Here’s a cross between a BBC Good Food recipe and the one I buy in the UK.
Mixed Spice Recipe
Love cooking on a griddle? Try these cinnamon raisin English muffins (dough is made in a bread machine)!
The Welsh cake recipe I’m sharing is adapted from Paul Hollywood’s British Baking book. I found them to be a bit on the sweet side, especially since they are traditionally sprinkled with sugar before serving, so I reduced the sugar significantly.
Paul gave me a signed copy of his book when we were on the interview stage at BBC Good Food Scotland a few years ago. I hope you enjoy this little taste of Wales!
Another recipe related to a saint: Zeppole di San Giuseppe (St Joseph’s day pastries)
Eating a Welsh cake is heavenly!
Welsh Cakes Recipe
adapted from Paul Hollywood’s British Baking makes about 24 (printable recipe below)
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
Special equipment: a griddle or heavy frying pan. biscuit cutter.
Make the Welsh Cake Dough.
Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a mixing bowl then rub in the cold butter.
Stir in the sugar and currants.
Stir in the egg and buttermilk and mix to a soft dough. Add more milk if necessary.
Roll out and cut the Dough.
Roll the dough to about 1/3″ thickness.
Cut with either a fluted or straight cutter about 3″ in diameter. Welsh cakes are traditionally quite small, and not like a more standard scone size.
Cook the Welsh Cakes on a Griddle
Heat a griddle to medium heat and cook the Welsh Cakes for a few minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked in the center.
Place on a cooling rack or tea towel, but not for too long.
These are absolutely delicious when sprinkled with a little sugar and served right away. Don’t forget the tea!
However, I do agree with Paul who says that Welsh cakes are also really good the next day if you pop them in a toaster or heat them any way you like. I hope you try them as I think you’ll be very happy with the recipe!
Love breakfast pastries, baked goods, and breads? Try this recipe for cinnamon raisin English muffins, too!
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Welsh Cakes for St. David's Day
Traditional Welsh Cakes adapted from Paul Hollywood.
- 265 g (2 1/8 cups) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice (see recipe in post)
- 130 g (1/2 cup + 1 tsp) cold butter (good quality)
- 65 g (1/3 cup) sugar (plus more for sprinkling on top)
- 75 g (1/2 cup) currants
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 2 Tbsp buttermilk
Special equipment: a griddle or heavy frying pan. Biscuit cutter.
Make the dough.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a mixing bowl then rub in the butter.
- Stir in the sugar and currants.
- Stir in the egg and buttermilk and mix to a soft dough. Add more milk if necessary.
Roll out and cut the dough.
- Roll the dough to about 1/3" thickness.
- Cut with either a fluted or straight cutter about 3" in diameter. Welsh cakes are traditionally quite small, and not like a more standard scone size.
Cook the Welsh Cakes
- Heat a griddle to medium heat and cook the Welsh Cakes for a few minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked in the center.
- Place on a cooling rack or tea towel, but not for too long. These are absolutely delicious when sprinkled with a little sugar and served right away!
- However, I do agree with Paul who says that they're also really good the next day if you pop them in a toaster or heat them any way you like. I hope you try them as I think you'll be very happy with the recipe!
These freeze perfectly. You can always pop them in the oven or airfryer for a couple of minutes to warm them, too.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 2 cakes
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 186Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 194mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
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Thanks to the magic of Pinterest I found this recipe. Couldn’t quite get my act together yesterday, but just made them today. Really delicious. Could not find currants, so chopped some dried cherries to a current size. Also needed more liquid so just added more buttermilk (as you suggest). Thank you! Now off to find more recipes for mixed spice. Yummy.
Sounds yummy! Glad you liked them, Susan! Try these rock buns!
Looking to make these tomorrow. Do you want the butter cold when rubbing in or at room temperature? Thanks!
Good question, Emily. The butter should be cold, and I’ve updated the recipe card. Thanks and enjoy them!
These are divine! I had to chop raisins in the food processor because we’ve been unable to find currants.
That’s creative. You’ll love them even more when you can find currants. Can you buy them online, Dianne?
[…] how about Welsh Cakes for St. David’s Day (March […]
In the mixed spice, could one substitute cardamon for the coriander? (couldn’t find the coriander at first – it was in with the savory spices!) Am going to try this recipe today – making up this mix for the cakes, haven’t used the griddle for baked items before, wish me luck!
I think I’m a bit late in responding (traveling cross country, atm), but I would just skip the coriander. Hope they turned out well if you already made them! Lmk! CC
These look delicious. Would they taste the same if I omitted the currents, since my six yr old twin, grandsons don’t care for them?
I’m seeing them on Saturday and would love to surprise them with a homemade treat!
As always great pics and easy to follow directions!
As I told you before, both my sons know you for your high standards, precise measurements and best quality ingredients!
As a matter of fact Kristopher, my youngest went to your blog for the rice ball recipe!!! Turned out great, as I myself rolled and fried them in the best quality, olive oil from Greece!
Luisa, Italo- Canadese from Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada.
Hi Luisa, so nice to hear from you! Yes, you could definitely make them without the currants! So happy to hear that your son went to my site for the arancini recipe! :) Yay! Love that you’re keeping the cooking tradition alive with your family! Grazie!
Hi, as I’m Welsh and this is a staple in my cookbook, there are a few variations you can do with recipe; my friends are quite parcel to me replacing the raisins/currants with chocolate chips and a few drops of vanilla. You can also make them a bit more adult by replacing some of the liquid with Baileys ( Irish cream liqueur) I make them on St Dwynwen’s Day which is our Welsh Valentines Day, 25th of January, it’s also the day before my birthday! White chocolate chips and or dried cranberries are also nice, happy baking xxx