Making Welsh Cakes for St. David's Day

Warning: Recipe for incredibly moreish treat below!

I had never made Welsh Cakes before, but with St. David’s Day coming up on March 1st, I thought I would give them a try. Oh my, why did I wait so long?

This simple recipe produces a wonderful light and airy sweet that isn’t quite scone, isn’t quite cookie, isn’t quite pancake. Fresh out of the pan, sprinkled with sugar, I had to be quick to take the photos before the family ate the entire batch!

The Welsh name for these little cakes is ‘Pice ar y maen’ with ‘maen’ meaning bakestone (like a griddle), which is how they are cooked. I do not have a griddle but used a heavy-based frying pan and they came out a treat.

I used Mary Berry’s recipe. Give it a try, but remember, I warned you!

Makes 12

8 oz (2 cups) self-raising flour (or 8 oz all-purpose flour with 2 tsp baking powder)

1 tsp baking powder

4 oz (1/2 cup) butter, diced

3 oz caster (1/2 cup) (superfine) sugar

3 oz (1/2 cup) currants

½ tsp mixed spice (optional)

1 egg, beaten

about 2 tbsp milk

A little butter for the pan

3 inch pastry cutter

  1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips of a pastry blender until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.


  2. Add the sugar, currants, and mixed spice (if using), and stir to mix. Add the egg and enough milk to form a soft but not sticky dough. I needed a little more than 2 tablespoons.


  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a ¼ inch thickness. Cut into rounds with the pastry cutter.

  4. Heat a griddle or heavy frying pan and melt a little butter in it. I found that because of the butter in the cakes, they didn’t need much extra in the pan and didn’t stick. Cook the Welsh cakes on the hot griddle or pan over low heat for about 3 minutes on each side until cooked through and golden brown. Be careful on the first flip, as they are still a little fragile at this point. Use a large spatula to do this.

  5. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Best served on the day you make them, sprinkled with some sugar and a little butter, if you like, and with a lovely cuppa, of course!