Welsh Cakes

Welsh Cakes plated

Welsh Cakes, or picau ar y maen in Welsh, gosh I wish I knew how to pronounce that, are delicious.  Just downright delicious.

The history of them reads quaint though surely there was nothing quaint about working in coal mines.  Intriguing point that website casually shares actually, "over time as world societies modernized, the need and patience for making foods by hand became scarce."


Interestingly, I've been pondering exactly that lately in fact, having brought The Bake Dept to life out of Flaky Bakers.  Plus with seeing recipes around the interwebs for such things as no-churn, air fry, insta-pot, gizmo quick food etc. etc....wondering if this such venture is trifling.

Truly, for sure, we're busy folk with oodles going on, much to do, slapping whatever food on the table to just get it done sometimes.

So why would anyone bake?  Ya know, drag out ingredients, carve out more than a couple minutes, take the actual darn time to bake something from scratch?  You can buy a box of cake mix for ninety nine cents, for cripes sake.

For me, first and foremost, I enjoy it.  The process, the learning, seeing the success, sharing the baked goods with Mike or family or friends, seeing their happy faces, and obviously duh, eating it.  And for me personally, the result solidly proves the effort over a shortcut or quickie variant. 

Rarely these days do I purchase baked goods from a grocery store (other than say, hamburger buns or sandwich bread or a nostalgic goodie), but that's my MO.  It tastes better when I make it, so affirms Mike.  And now Mike too, no store-bought baked goods, I've ruined him.  Hashtag spoiled husband.  

Look, absolutely, people don't have the time, will, or desire and there's zero shame in that but one of my goals here is to vigorously motivate and lure you to take the time.  Do it.  Consider it me-time.  Self-care.  A blues buster.  A self-confidence booster.  

I emphatically maintain baking is worth every bit of time and effort.  Baking equals joy equals healthy.  

Case closed.

A chunk of time ago, I was fortunate enough to road trip through parts England and Wales.  Knowing my Aunt Mary Lou traced an unbelievable amount of my dad's side of the family through England, Scotland, and Ireland, like an unbelievable amount, it kinda felt like half of me was home.

While in Wales, I never once had one of these tasty little Welsh Cake numbers though.  Probably too busy trying to figure out the words on the signs, gawking at the scenery, navigating roundabouts, and agog-ly listening to folks speak Welsh.

Really stunning country.  Should you get a chance to go, do go.

And really tasty little buggers, these Welsh Cakes; make them.

So why now, Becky, decades (cough) later, why the Welsh Cakes now?  Honestly?  Because I had been on a quest for a suitable pancake substitute.  These aren't pancakes per se but a delightful cross between them and scones.

And they pull together effortlessly much like the Currant Scones.

Toss the first few ingredients into a large bowl, fluff them around then throw in the butter.  

Welsh Cakes ingredients ready to mix
Only a few ingredients and you're on your way to some serious tastiness.
You can use a pastry cutter* (mine has a squared face, by Kitchen Innovations* and my knuckles are ouchie-free) to blend the butter in, a pair of forks, or your fingers using a smushing/smearing motion, squishing the flour and butter together.  A food processor* would work too, just be extra deft and judicious.

blended butter and flour
Truly, seek out a flat pastry cutter rather than rounded ones.  I have not smashed my hand yet.
Butter down to about a crumbly state with some larger hunks in there, you'll then drop in your dried fruit.  I'm all in on currants but dried blueberries would be nice, ya know, most any dried fruit you're into.

Whisk up the egg with the vanilla and add two tablespoons of milk.  Pour this into the flour mix, toss that around and keep adding milk by the tablespoon as needed until you hit five max.  Mine always takes five.
wet ingredients mixed with dry
Wet into dry and it'll look like marbles.
You want the dough moist enough but not too moist.  Enough to hold together.  Give it a pinch and if it breaks apart, more milk.  If it forms a solid, yah, you good.

Dump the bowl contents out onto a floured work surface, gently knead it a time or two until it comes together...

Welsh Cake dough ball
Kinda just barely moist dough ball here.
...then pat it out or roll* it to just under a half inch thick.

Pop a griddle* on the stovetop or use an electric one* or just a large skillet is fine too.  Warm that up over medium-low to medium heat.

Dip a three inch round cutter* or an inverted cup into flour then stamp out the cakes.  Straight down, don't wiggle or twist.

cutting 3" round Welsh Cakes out of flattened dough
Cut them lil' tasty cakes.
You can pull the scraps together for one more round of round stamping.

Drop a small amount of butter on the warm griddle and in batches, cook up your cakes.  I find lower and slower works better for me.  You want them golden golden brown on both flat planes and soft on the sides.

Right outta the pan, sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon and sugar then serve warm.  

plated Welsh Cakes

Serving, you could slather on more butter, jam if you'd like, or I drizzle mine with honey.  

sliced Welsh Cake

And bonus, I find they're even better the next day.  Store wrapped up on the counter or in the fridge but do reheat as they're most comforting and best warmed through.  Yummm-mee.  My stomach just growled.

Happy baking!
Welsh Cakes

Welsh Cakes

12-14 cakes
Prep time
10 Min
Cook time
16 Min
Total time
26 Min
A deliciously simple breakfast or snack, Welsh Cakes are a terrific hybrid between a tender scone and fluffy pancake.


  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter (cold, 1 stick, 8 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup (66 g) sugar
  • 2 1/4 (9 g) teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) fine sea salt
  • 1/3 (47 g) cup dried currants (or other dried fruit)
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon (4.5 g) vanilla extract
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons (57-142 g) milk (whole, 2-1%)
  • additional sugar, cinnamon, and honey for serving


  1. Cut the butter into cubes and return it to the refrigerator to keep cold.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt then whisk together.
  3. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, your fingers, or a pair of forks, work the butter into the flour until it becomes sandy crumbly with some pea-sized pieces of butter.  Sprinkle in the currants or other dried fruit and stir.
  4. In a small bowl, add the egg, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk, whisking to combine.  Pour this mixture into the flour mix and stir gently with a fork.  If needed, add the remaining tablespoons of milk one at a time to form a loose dough.
  5. Flour a work surface and pour the dough onto it.  Gently push the dough together and knead lightly to form a mostly cohesive ball but avoid over-working and over-warming the dough.
  6. Pat or roll the dough to just under about 1/2" thick.  Using a 3" round cutter dipped in flour, cut out the cakes.  Pull the scraps together and reroll for one more cutting.
  7. Heat a flat pan, large skillet or griddle over medium-low to medium heat and butter lightly.  Place the cakes on the heated surface in batches and cook each side about 5-8 minutes.  The cakes will be golden yet soft on the sides.
  8. Sprinkle the cooked cakes with additional sugar and cinnamon as desired.  Serve warm plain, with butter or jam or drizzled with honey.  The cakes are even better the next day.


Adapted from The Chicago Tribune.



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details.

Welsh Cakes
Created using The Recipes Generator

*The pastry cutters, food processors, rolling pins, griddles, and round cutters are Amazon affiliate links.  Bake happy, thanks!  Please see the "Info" tab for more, well, more info.

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