Welsh Griddle Cakes – Pice ar y maen

Welsh Griddle Cakes-6Have you ever wished you could have scones that are so delicious you want to eat them like cookies, but rather than baking them you could cook them like pancakes so they’d be golden and slightly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside?

No? That’s ok. You’ll learn. You’ll wish you could have them all the time when you taste these guys. And luckily for you, this recipe makes an enormous quantity of them! Five dozen should be enough, right?

Ok, fine, I’ll break it down into a reasonable size version too. But in my family we’re more likely to double the recipe. Because they’re pretty dang good the next day too. Once in a while we even freeze some if we’re exerting extreme self control.

We made them for a brunch party the weekend my sister left the state for school and reserved the leftovers to eat over our campfires on the trip. So good. Probably more historically accurate too.

Campfire Griddle CakesThe first time I had authentic griddle cakes I was at a fancy tour of the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth and they served us tea and hot griddle cakes. I had no idea what I was eating, just that it was magical and needed to happen again.

I was very happy to find this recipe in a cookbook when I got home and it quickly became a family favorite. I was pretty surprised to find the recipe wasn’t already on here, given the number of holidays and other major celebrations we’ve incorporated this recipe into.

I checked through my Welsh cookbooks and I think this is the best version – I like the balance of butter and shortening and the delicate flavor of the nutmeg. Other recipes call for “mixed spice” or suggest adding some citrus zest or other types of dried fruit. I’m sure that’s fine, but I’ll leave my experiments for when I try new kinds of scones and stick to this tried & true version.

One tip, though: don’t bother trying to bake them. Totally different texture, like wilted scones or oddly doughy cookies. This dough needs the crisping. And don’t turn the griddle or fire up too high, or you’ll end up with blackened crust and doughy centers.

These do take a bit of patience, but they’re definitely worth it. If you happen to have a griddle you can put on your table, I’ve found people don’t mind getting them handed over hot. If it’s good enough for the Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, it’s good enough for you guys too.

welsh griddle cakes at brunch

Welsh Griddle Cakes

Welsh Griddle Cakesfull recipe (5 dozen, depending on size)

  • 7 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins (or other dried fruit – golden raisins, currants, dried cranberries, etc.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk

smaller recipe (1 1/2 dozen, depending on size )

  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • Welsh Griddle Cakes-12 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar plus 2 Tbsp.
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk

Combine the first three dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the fats and mix thoroughly – like for pastry. Stir in sugar and nutmeg with the raisins.

Welsh Griddle Cakes-2Combine the egg(s) with the milk and mix into the dry ingredients gently with a fork. You want it to form a soft dough, but you want to avoid overhandling it – aim for the dry/wet areas and the rest will come together.

This forms a fairly sticky dough – I’ve found that pressing it between two layers of wax paper (or leftover cereal bags, if you live near my mother) makes this much easier. You can use a rolling pin on top of the paper to get it to 1/2″ thick.

Welsh Griddle Cakes-5
Cut into rounds – I think 2″ is a good size, but it’s up to you. 🙂

Bake on a griddle – if you have an electric one, you’ll want it between 325 and 350. If you’re using a skillet, keep the temperature on medium low and watch for scorching. You shouldn’t need to grease the pan unless you have one that’s very thin.

Turn when the lower side is firm and golden brown and the sides are puffing slightly. Do not undercook – you want them to be baked all the way through. Lowering the heat for the second side may be necessary on a skillet.welsh griddle cakes cooking

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Chris Sarley says:

    Yay!! Thank you, Emily. I love these…

    1. kitchentourist says:

      Me too! Glad to share them with you in person and virtually!

  2. Drew says:

    Love the idea of cooking them at the table- they are amazing warm! We just call them ‘Welsh-cakes’ in Wales though (I grew up on these)!

    1. kitchentourist says:

      They’re always delicious but so good warm that this is our favorite way to serve them now! I added Griddle to the title primarily for my American audience, since cakes here are more likely to be the big ones with frosting.

      1. Drew says:

        Fair enough, they aren’t really what we call cakes here either! I’m sure they aren’t the first Welsh cakes to make it over the Atlantic (My grandmother used to post them to me wherever I was if I was away from home longer than a week)!

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