Delectable little Welsh Cakes are cookies that are cooked in a skillet on the stovetop. Crispy outside, they have a biscuit-like texture inside that's loaded with sweet currants and the heavenly whiff of nutmeg. Perfect with a cup of tea.
This month for our Eat the World recipe challenge we are headed to Wales. This green and ruggedly beautiful little country is situated in the southwest corner of Great Britain and is part of the United Kingdom. I haven't been there yet, and am so longing to go. I love watching travel videos of this idyllic corner of the world that is steeped in ancient history, yet somehow also wild and untamed.
As soon as I knew we were heading for Wales in our armchair travels, I thought of these Welsh Cakes - little cookies I've been baking for years (even before our kids were born). They're the most delectable little teatime treats - a cross between cookies, scones, and pancakes, with a texture like none of those. They are melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a crunchy crust. Their flavour is lightly sweet with the aromatic hit of nutmeg and little pops of chewy currants. They were just made to go with a cup of tea, and if you catch them warm from the skillet - oh, my! What a heavenly taste of deliciousness. You'll be imagining yourself in a picturesque little stone cottage in Wales, sitting at a table in the window, sipping your tea and staring off past the country garden to the wild hills in the mist. The peat fire is smoky inside the cottage, and the plate of warm Welsh Cakes is sitting beside you and the teapot to keep you company.
Cooked Over the Fire
Welsh Cakes have been made in Wales since the late 1800s, once sugar and dried fruits became more accessible. In Wales they are also known as bakestones or griddle cakes, since they are baked on a traditional bakestone (a thick, cast iron griddle placed directly on the fire).
For that reason, they're great cookies to make over a campfire, too! Just mix up the dry ingredients with the butter, and pop the mix into a bag. Bring along the egg and milk to add, and then form the cakes and cook them in a cast iron skillet of griddle over the embers of a fire. You'll make new campfire cooking memories. (See how we made a dessert with Welsh Cakes over the fire in this post.)
A Wee Look at Welsh Cakes
Welsh Cakes are fun to make - the dough is quick to stir together. Then just pat it out with your fingers (or roll it out) so it's a thick disk and cut out circles with a cookie cutter or small glass.
You don't even have to turn on the oven. Just cook the little cakes in a lightly greased skillet (cast iron or non-stick) over medium-low heat (about 10 minutes per side) until they are golden brown and delectably crunchy on the outside and meltingly tender in the middle.
Then set them on a rack to cool slightly and eat them right away (or keep them if you can!)
Crispy, flaky and delicious, with that warm nutmeg scent and those pops of sweet currants. They're sooooo good still slightly warm and served with a cup of tea or a glass of milk.
I think you need a plate of Welsh Cakes in your life.
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Check out all the wonderful Welsh dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Cawl Cennin (Welsh-Style Leek & Potato Soup)
Pandemonium Noshery: Welsh Onion Cake
Sneha’s Recipe: Snowdon Pudding
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Ŵyau Ynys Môn, Welsh Anglesey Eggs
Sugarlovespices: Welsh Anglesey egg and mashed potato casserole
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Teison Nionod
Kitchen Frau: Welsh Cakes (Skillet-Baked Currant Cookies)
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- 1½ cups (210gms) gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour for non-gluten-free
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (75gms) sugar preferably natural evaporated cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup (115gms) butter, salted (if using unsalted butter, increase salt to ½ teaspoon)
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup (70gms) dried currants or substitute chopped raisins
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) milk
- Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.
- Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 butter knives until it is the size of peas.
- Add the currants.
- Beat the egg and milk together with a fork and add them to the dry ingredients.
- Mix just enough to form the dough into a ball.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat or roll it into a thick disk that is about 9 inches (23cm) in diameter and just under a ½-inch thick (1cm).
- Cut out small circles (1½-inch diameter), but you can also make them a bit larger if you don't have a small cookie cutter.
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium-low heat and lightly grease it (with cooking oil spray or oil).
- Arrange the cookies in the skillet with a little bit of space between them (you will have to do them in 2 batches or use 2 skillets).
- Cook them for 10 minutes on each side, until they are a light brown colour. Readjust the heat level if needed to make sure they cook slowly enough to be nicely browned on one side after 10 minutes. Flip them with a small spatula or offset spatula and cook them for 10 minutes on the second side. If some of them are lighter than others, you can flip them over again to cook them some more on the lighter side.
- Set the cookies onto a rack to cool. They are delicious when freshly cooked, but will keep well in a covered container at room temperature for up to a week.
- Makes 36 small (1½-inch.3.8cm) cookies (or fewer cookies if larger).
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Check out my past ‘Eat the World’ Recipe Challenge posts:
(in alphabetical order)
- Argentina: Red Chimichurri Sauce
- Australia: Anzac Biscuits (Crispy Oatmeal Cookies)
- Bangladesh: Chingri Masala (Shrimp Curry)
- Bulgaria: Patatnik (Savoury Potato and Cheese Pie)
- Cambodia: Noum Kong (Cambodian Rice Flour Doughnuts)
- China: Kung Pao Chicken
- Colombia: Pan de Yuca (Warm Cheese Buns)
- Dominican Republic: Empanaditas de Yuca (Cassava Empanadas)
- Ecuador: Pescado Encocado (Fish in Coconut Sauce)
- Egypt: Fava Beans and Feta
- England: Gluten Free Fish and Chips and Mushy Peas
- Ethiopia: Four Ethiopian Recipes for a Fantastic Feast
- Fiji: Spiced Sweet Potato and Banana Salad
- Finland: Lohikeitto (Creamy Salmon, Potato, and Dill Soup)
- France: Axoa d’Espelette (A Simple Stew from the Basque Country)
- Georgia: Charkhlis Chogi (Beets with Sour Cherry Sauce)
- Greece: Moussaka
- Guyana: Fried Tilapia in Oil & Vinegar Sauce (fish dish)
- Hungary: Túrós Csusza (Pasta Scraps with Cottage Cheese)
- India: Kerala Upma (Fluffy, Kerala Style Breakfast Upma Recipe)
- Iraq: Tepsi Baytinijan (Eggplant & Meatball Casserole)
- Ireland: Dublin Coddle (A tasty Sausage and Potato Stew)
- Israel: Cucumber, Feta, and Watermelon Salad
- Jamaica: Rice and Peas (Coconut Rice and Red Beans)
- Japan: Chawanmushi (Steamed Savoury Egg Custard)
- Kenya: Maharagwe with Ugali (Red Beans with Cornmeal Slice)
- Laos: Ping Gai (Lao Grilled Chicken Wings)
- Lesotho: Chakalaka & Pap (Veggie & Bean Stew with Cornmeal Polenta)
- Libya: Kufta bil Batinjal (Eggplant & Meat Rolls in Tomato Sauce)
- Luxembourg: Stäerzelen (Buckwheat Dumplings)
- Malta: Ross il Forn (Baked Tomato Rice)
- Mexico: Cochinita Pibil Tacos (Pit Barbecued Pig to Make in Your Oven)
- Netherlands: Boerenkool Stamppot (Kale-Potato Mash with Sausages & Pears)
- New Zealand: Classic Pavlova
- Poland: Polish Honey Cake
- Portugal: Tuna and Sardine Pâtés
- Puerto Rico: Piña Colada Cocktail
- Scotland: Cranachan (Raspberry, Whisky & Oat Cream Parfaits)
- Senegal: Mafé (Beef and Peanut Stew)
- Slovakia: Bryndzové Halušky (Potato Dumplings with Cheese & Bacon)
- Sudan: Peanut Butter Creamed Spinach & Peanut Meringue Cookies
- Sweden: Swedish Meatballs with Cream Gravy
- Switzerland (Christmas): Basler Leckerli Cookies
- Thailand: Shrimp Laksa (Khung)
- Trinidad & Tobago: Peanut Butter Prunes
- Turkey: Çilbir (Scrambled Eggs with Garlic Yogurt)
- Ukraine: Buckwheat Kasha with Beef
- United States (Soul Food): Smothered Pork Chops
- Uruguay: Torta de Fiambre (Baked Ham & Cheese Sandwiches)
- Vietnam: Caramelized Pork Rice Bowls