A traditional Welsh tea time treat. Little cakes filled with dried fruit, cooked on a griddle and sprinkled with sugar. With a less traditional addition of delicious lemon, served warm with Honey Ginger Whipped Butter.
I love Wales, it’s a beautiful country full of pretty awesome people (unless the rugby is on, then they’re my enemy!). I lived in Wales for four years, the beautiful sea-side town of Aberystwyth, I miss it a lot. One of the many amazing things to come out of Wales is Welsh cakes – they’re so simple, but oh so delicious. They’re thin, flat cakes that you cook on a griddle, full of dried fruit (usually raisins/sultanas) and mixed spices. I hate to think how many Welsh Cakes I got through in my four years in Aber, probably far too many. I’ve never made them myself though, I was always a bit intimidated by them – they’re a well loved, traditional treat in Wales, if you get them wrong you’re not forgiven!
I’m glad I finally took the plunge though, they were really simple and so yummy. They disappeared within minutes of finishing this photoshoot, next time I definitely have to make a double batch. Now, I did take a detour from tradition by adding lemon and if there’s any Welsh people reading this – I’m sorry! I have a bad habit of wandering from the traditional path, I can’t help it – I like to play with my food! Lemon is such a wonderful detour though, I only added a touch so it’s very subtle but it really makes the Welsh Cakes feel full of spring flavour, I love it! Besides, the idea came from my friend, so it’s totally her fault!
Welsh Cakes are best served warm with a sprinkling of sugar and lots of butter, and these Lemon Welsh Cakes are no different. I whipped my butter and added some honey and fresh ginger to really compliment and boost the yummy flavours in the Welsh Cakes, and it really was incredible. The flavours mingle and take your tea time treat to a really yummy new level. You’ve got to try it!
Lemon Welsh Cakes with Honey Ginger Whipped Butter
A traditional Welsh tea time treat, little cakes with raisins and spices. Take an untraditional twish with these Lemon Welsh Cakes. Serve warm with Honey Ginger Whipped Butter. Delicious.
For the Welsh Cakes:
- 225g plain flour (AP), plus extra for dusting surface
- 85g caster sugar (super fine granulated), plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp lemon zest (approx 1 medium lemon)
- 100g butter, cold and cubed, plus another tablespoon or so for cooking
- 60g raisins
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp milk
For the honey ginger butter:
- 75g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 1/2" fresh ginger, minced
- small pinch of salt
To make the welsh cakes:
- Put the flour, sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and baking powder in a bowl and mix together. Add the cold butter cubes and rub it into the flour mix with your finger tips, until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs.
- Mix the raisins in.
- Add the beaten egg, and use a wooden spoon to beat into the flour/butter mix until it forms a dough. Add the milk if needed if the dough is too dry to come together (depending on the size of your egg, you may not need it. I did). It should be the consistency of shortcrust pastry dough.
- Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the dough to 1/4" thick. Use a 6" round cutter (fluted if you have it) to cut out the cakes, re-roll and cut scraps.
- Heat your griddle on a medium heat and add some butter.
- Cook the welsh cakes for about 3 minutes either side, until dark golden brown. Add more butter between batches if needed.
- While warm, sprinkle with some sugar. Serve warm with lots of butter.
For the honey ginger whipped butter:
- Whip the butter until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir/whip in the honey, ginger and salt.
Serve warm or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Store butter covered in fridge, use within 2 days. You can use salted butter for the whipped butter, just omit the extra salt. I prefer unsalted so I can salt to my taste.
Welsh Cakes are traditionally cooked on a griddle and, to be honest with you, I don’t think you can really make them any other way. I tried a cast iron skillet to start with because I thought it would be better than my non cast iron griddle, but it didn’t work at all (but I thought it worked well for photos at least!) so I would definitely recommend a griddle – if you try it another way, please let me know how it worked for you! Griddles are totally worth investing in though, mine was super cheap and it’s huge – it’s great for making pancakes and full cooked breakfasts.
I imagine not many people outside of the UK have tried Welsh Cakes before, and it’s really hard to convey how delicious they really are. I introduced my (American) best friend to them a few years ago and she totally fell in love. I will definitely be making a few batches of these for her and her family next time I’m over there. You definitely need to try these, and please do let me know what you thought. And, those of you who have had Welsh Cakes before – have you ever made your own? If you’re Welsh, then I imagine that answer is yes, and you probably have an amazing recipe handed down through your family and for that I am eternally jealous! But I adore my lemon version and it will keep me very happy when a Welsh person can’t make me their grandma’s recipe!
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