Esme Ottewell’s Traditional Welsh Cakes

Like lots of us, I fondly remember my Mum’s cooking from when I was a child. These were my favourite cakes (and still are!) They were originally cooked on the hot plate of a coal oven (my Granny had a Rayburn stove in her kitchen) but can easily be cooked in a heavy non-stick frying pan, bakestone or griddle.

Welsh Cakes

Esme Ottewell's Welsh Cakes

As they are quick and simple to make they are an ideal introduction to cooking for children as they all like cakes!

Note – Whilst she has suggested a cooking time below, that’s just a starting point; Mum’s advice is that you use sensible judgement and experience! Unless you burn them really badly they will all be edible.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes

• 8 oz/ 225g self raising flou
• 4 oz/ 100g butter
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• 3 oz/ 75g fine or caster sugar
• 3 oz/75g sultanas (but some people use a mixture of currents and sultanas)
• A pinch of salt
• Rind of half a lemon, grated (make sure it’s an un-waxed one!)
• 1 large egg, beaten
• A little milk to blend if necessary

Sieve the flour, salt and spice into a mixing bowl. Rub in the fats until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, lemon rind and dried fruit. Pour in the beaten egg and stir to make a firm dough, add a tiny dash of milk should the dough be too dry. Add a tiny amount at a time to prevent creating a sloppy dough.

On a floured board, roll or press the dough to approximately 1/4″/5mm thick, approx the thickness of the little finger. Cut into discs with a 1 1/2″ or 2″ /4 or 5 cm cutter.

Bake the Welsh Cakes on a lightly buttered medium hot griddle bakestone or thick frying pan for approx 3 mins per side turning once, until golden brown on both sides but still a little soft in the middle. If you wish you can dust with fine/caster sugar while still hot – I think they are great without though!
Chris Ottewell

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