Happy Monday everyone!
Some time ago author Jenni Fletcher posted a picture of Welsh Cakes she had made. Not being familiar with them here in the USA, I decided to experiment and try them. I love to cook, and am always looking for something new to make for the family. Well, they are now a family favorite and a weekend staple! So here’s a big “THANK YOU” to Jenni Fletcher! I made a double batch Saturday Morning and barely have any left today…
Welsh Cakes Info & History
This traditional treat of Wales, often called bakestones, has been beloved since the late 19th century when sugar, fat, and other sweet ingredients were added to this griddle-cooked cake.
Served both hot and cold, these cakes are a bit like a scone, pancake, and cookie rolled into one, all the while being incredibly unique in both taste and texture. They feature similar ingredients of scones while being cooked in the same manner as a pancake on a griddle.
Once upon a time, Wales was known as the largest producer of coal. The men would go off to the coal mines while the lady of the household would prepare Welsh cakes. These would be served with afternoon tea. Children were also given these delightful griddle-cooked cakes to take along with their lunches for school.
Because Welsh cakes are rather durable and easy to tote, they became quite favored among the coal miners. They could easily be stashed in a coat pocket, perfect for bringing cheer to a dismal day in the mines.
Soon though, life would change for the people of Wales. The world began to modernize, even in this quaint and charming Celtic country. Mining faded out and big business boomed in. Suddenly, the time and devotion to crafting special treats like the Welsh cake faded away. But not completely.
Welsh cakes remain as the treasures of Wales. Light, slightly spiced and sweet and truly delightful, once you taste one, you’ll feel sorry you’ve missed out for so long.
Rose’s Welsh Cakes
3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 cup raisins
2 large eggs beaten with enough milk to yield 3/4 cup liquid
1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Work in the butter until the mixture is crumbly; a few larger pieces of butter can remain. Mix in the raisins. Add the milk/egg mixture, mixing until everything is moistened.
2. Turn the sticky dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Roll the soft dough into a circle; it should be about 1/4″ thick. Be sure to lift up the dough and flour underneath it as you roll, so it doesn’t stick. Using a 2 1/2″ to 3 1/2″ fluted or round biscuit cutter, cut the dough into circles. Gather and re-roll the scraps, cutting until you’ve used all the dough.
3. Heat a cast-iron skillet over low-medium heat. Although many recipes say to dry-fry or cook on griddle without any oil, I have found with my cast iron griddle, a very little bit of canola oil brushed on to the griddle before putting the cakes to cook works the best. Cook the cakes for about 4 minutes on each side, until they’re golden brown and cooked all the way through. It’s best to cook one sample cake first, to see if your pan is the right temperature. Transfer the cakes to a rack to cool.
4. Dust the finished cakes with cinnamon-sugar or superfine (castor) sugar; or split them, butter, and spread with jam.
This recipe was adapted from several recipes found on the internet.
If you haven’t read any books from Jenni Fletcher, I highly recommend you do! She’s a fantastic author and has some fabulous books out. Ms. Fletcher is known for her wonderful characters, fabulous storylines, and extensive research. Whether it’s a Medieval, Regency, Victorian, or a Roman story, her books are a joy to read!
Grab yourself a Welsh Cake, tea or coffee, and one of Jenni’s s books and enjoy!