Think of a mini pancake or flat circular scone, packed with spices and sultanas/raisins, and dusted with caster sugar. Don’t forget to lick your fingers after each bite!
One of the best parts of living in the London is the sheer number of places that we can go for high tea. It’s such a fun British tradition, but it doesn’t really start until about 2 PM, and sometimes I just cannot wait that long! I first had these little Welsh Cakes served on a three tier cake stand during high tea, but lately I’ve discovered that I love them during the mornings.
I call them “little” Welsh Cakes not because they are smaller than “normal” Welsh Cakes, but because I classify anything I can eat in just three bites as “little”. They sound cute, but what’s a Welsh Cake, you ask? They originated in Wales in the late 1800’s and are also known as bakestones or griddle scones because they are made on a griddle.
Think of a mini pancake or flat circular scone with sultanas/raisins, and dusted with caster sugar. Unlike a pancake though, it’s buttery and a bit brittle in texture. You should be able to break them in half with the slightest pressure, so you can pick up and eat these with your hands.
These little Welsh Cakes can be enjoyed plain by themselves, unlike a British scone, which is usually paired with a jam or clotted cream. Each bite should be filled with sultanas and spices.
However, there is no rule and you definitely can eat them with some kind of spread. You can even dip them in maple syrup to give them a more traditional breakfast taste.
If you’re like me and too impatient to wait until the afternoon for high tea, don’t be shy and enjoy these little Welsh Cakes with your morning cup of tea or coffee. Go ahead, treat yourself :)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (210 grams)
- 1/4 cup caster sugar (50 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (113 grams) - chilled and cubed
- 1/4 cup currants (40 grams)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons whole milk (plus extra, as needed)
- caster sugar (for sprinkling on top)
In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, mixed spice and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender. You can also use your fingers to rub the butter in, until you get a fine bread crumb consistency. Be careful not to rub the butter too much and melt it. Toss in the currants.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together.
Using a fork, mix the egg mixture into the flour mixture, until just mixed. Use your hands to finish mixing the dough together. It should be short, so don't over mix. The dough should be wet, but not too sticky to handle. Add in more milk as needed.
Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium to medium-low heat with a little bit of oil.
Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured silicon mat. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until about 1-cm thick. Using a 7-cm diameter cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can. Combine the remaining dough together, and roll it out again until about 1-cm thick. Cut out as many rounds as you can. Repeat as necessary, but note that with each successive rolling and cutting, the pastry may get over mixed.
Once the cast-iron skillet is ready, cook each side of the welsh cakes for 4 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed so that the welsh cake becomes a golden brown with 4 minutes on each side (I switched my induction hob between heat levels 4/9 and 5/9).
Transfer to a cooling rack and sprinkle them with caster sugar.