Welsh Cakes

What glorious weather we have been having here in North Yorkshire, we are down for a busy couple of weeks housesitting, another shoot {shoot, makes me sound like a proper photographer!} for the Hotties Supporting Help for Heroes calendar, camping with friends over the Jubilee Bank Holiday and a first preview of the film Chris worked on last summer {Lad: A Yorkshire Story}.  We took a break this afternoon and drove up onto the hills above Langcliffe. It was hot and sunny, even up there, so we parked in the shade of some trees. Chris wandered off to take photographs of flowers, while I rustled up some Welsh Cakes {yes, I know I should be making them in Wales!). There was a gentle, cool breeze drifting through the open windows of the van and sheep bleated around me. While the cakes were cooking I sat on the van step, sipping fresh lemon pressé and taking in the view. It was a blissful hour.

Usually, Welsh Cakes are lightly spiced but I had a couple of lemons in the fruit bowl so I thought I’d make some summery, lemony ones for a change. The lemon zest adds a lovely, fresh lightness to them. They are super easy to whip up, and make a tasty afternoon snack. They can be split and buttered, with jam, I like them simply as they are. Traditionally cooked on a griddle or bake stone, they are a type of drop scone and they cook wonderfully in a good quality non-stick frying pan.

I always come to make something like Welsh cakes and remember at the last minute that I still haven’t got a rolling pin in the van. This time Sailor Jerry helped me out, however because it was so warm the dough kept sticking to the bottle. I ended up just flattening the dough with my palm. I use a silicone mat for rolling out on, it is brilliant- nothing sticks to it. It also keeps my work surface clean.

7 cm fluted cutter, good quality non-stick frying pan

makes about 15 little cakes

  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g sugar {caster or granulated}
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • finely grated zest of one unwaxed lemon {or 1/2 tsp mixed spice}
  • 100 g sultanas

Place the flour and butter into a large bowl and rub in, as if you were making scones or pastry.  My butter was quite soft so I worked quickly, so as not to melt it completely with my hot hands. If you were terribly lazy you could do this step in a food processor and use chilled butter.

Add the sugar and lemon zest {or spice} and give it a quick stir before adding the beaten egg and the sultanas. Mix it well then bring it together into a dough with your hands. If you have the time, you could wrap it and let it rest in the fridge for half and hour to make it easier to roll. I just rolled mine out directly {with some stickage to the make-shift rolling pin} and it worked fine.

Roll out to just over a centimeter {half an inch} thick then cut out discs using a 7 cm {3 inch} fluted cutter. Heat your non-stick frying pan and grease it lightly with a spot of oil rubbed over the pan with a couple of sheets of kitchen paper. Once the pan is hot, place some of your dough discs in, I could get 5 in my pan. Keep the heat fairly low to cook them slowly. They should be crispy on the outside and fluffy, and cooked through, on the inside. Flip them over once they are starting to brown.

Once cooked through, take them out of the pan and onto a plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough. The Welsh cakes can be dusted with sugar to serve if you like. I used the lemon I’d zested to make the refreshing lemon pressé, mixed the juice in a glass with some sugar, threw in the remains of the lemon and topped it up with water. Delicious.

2 Responses

  1. Christine says:

    I really like the idea of “baking” something in a pan — I’ve definitely gotta try this out someday. 🙂

    Also, I can’t believe you’re baking in the back of an RV! The lack of space would make me crazy!