March 1st is St David’s Day, the patron Saint of Wales, and there can’t be a more egg-cellent way of celebrating than by making Welsh cakes – quick treats that are half biscuit, half scone and vie for the title of national cake of Wales.

Literally translated Picau ar y Maen (pronounced pick-aye ar-er mine) means cakes cooked on a bakestone.  For those who don’t have one of these traditional pieces of kitchen equipment lying around – a heavy cast iron pan will work just as well.  Beware though, Welsh cakes are likely to burn if you try and use a non-stick pan!

  • 225g salted butter/lard
  • 450g self raising flour
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 170g sultanas
  1. In a large bowl, use your hands to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, eggs and sultanas. Keep mixing until you get a thick dough – use a little milk to help bind if necessary.
  2. Turn out the dough onto a floured board and roll out until 1cm thick, then cut into rounds using a fluted cutter.
  3. To cook, grease a bakestone or a heavy cast iron pan with butter and then wipe away with kitchen paper.  Cook the Welsh cakes for 2 to 3 minutes until it begins to turn a rich caramel colour on the underside, then flip over and cook the same on the other side.
  4. Dust with caster sugar while still hot. Serve hot or cold.

Variations

Make your Welsh cakes less traditional by adding one of the following:

  • A tablespoon of mixed spice to the dough
  • Split the Welsh Cakes in half lengthways and add a layer of good quality jam
  • Desiccated coconut in place of some of the flour
  • Chocolate chips in place of sultanas

Mwynhewch! (Enjoy!)

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