I absolutely love Welsh Cakes, such a delicate taste and subtle sweetness. They are the perfect treat to have with tea or coffee. And these Chocolate and Ginger Welsh Cakes are truly divine.
Welsh cakes are a cross between a scone and a cookie but cooked like a pancake in a hot skillet on top of the stove. They are slightly crisp on the outside but tender and crumbly inside. I love making welsh cakes because I usually have all the ingredients on hand.
I first had Welsh Cakes in Wales, years ago, during my year long adventure with my friend, Bonnie. We stayed with Bonnie’s Aunts (Aunt Betty and Aunt Betty) for a whole month in the small town of . They lived in a small village near Swansea on a hilly street lined with row houses – each one a different colour. Each day, Bonnie’s Aunts set out a proper tea for us. By 4 pm, their wood kitchen table was completely laden with a variety of utterly delicious tea items: cheese and crackers, cakes, bread and butter, fruit and devonshire cream, tea and of course, welsh cakes.
Welsh cakes (or pice ar y maen – cakes on the stone, in Welsh) are so fast to whip up, you won’t believe it. They take, at the most, an hour from start to finish. They are fantastic for the beginner baker as they are so simple to make. And they have ‘homemade’ written all over them, as I can’t imagine too many bakeshops spending time cooking these up individually on a stovetop.
Try to make these cakes on the day that you want to serve them. As they only keep for 1-2 days before tasting a bit stale. You can also cut some out and freeze them uncooked until you are ready to cook some more.
I love Traditional Welsh Cakes, but I was eager to try some a flavour. So, I added some dark chocolate and chopped crystallized ginger. I love eating these Chocolate and Ginger Welsh Cakes warm from the skillet. The chocolate inside is slightly molten and the ginger is soft and lightly scented.
The origin of Welsh Cakes is very interesting. Years ago, miners would carry freshly made cakes down into the mines. A hearty snack and a taste of home while they were working in the cold, dark mines down below. Try popping one into a loved ones’ lunch kit to brighten their day.
Below are a few variations of Welsh Cakes that you can find around the country.
- Jam Split: Popular in South Wales, the cakes are split open and spread with jam inside:
2. Apple Dragon: Add some grated apple to the mixture to make your cakes more moist.
3. Newport Lovely Welsh Cakes made by men in the City of Newport for their girlfriends as a wedding gift or engagement gift.
4. The Welsh Mountain (Mynydd Cymreig) has two times the amount of baking powder in them, for loftier cakes.
If you try a different variation, let me know. Enjoy!
Chocolate and Ginger Welsh Cakes
- 250 grams white unbleached flour
- 120 grams butter, cold, diced
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 55 grams white sugar
- 45 grams cyrstallized ginger, chopped fine
- 25 grams dark chocolate chips
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tbsp strong coffee
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
Stir together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, spices
Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs
Stir in sugar and ginger and chocolate chips.
Mix in the egg.
Add coffee until a nice soft dough is formed.
Roll out on a tabletop sprinkled with flour.
Cut out welsh cakes with any round shape approximately 7.5 to 8 cm in diameter. I used a drinking glass.
Heat a skillet on the stovetop on medium heat. Add a very tiny amount of butter.
Place a few welsh cakes in pan, with some space surrounding each one. Do not overfill skillet. You need room to flip them over.
When the underside is a nice golden colour, flip over and cook the other side.
Remove from skillet when both sides are done.
Let cool on a baking rack.
Sprinkle with demerara sugar. You can do this either in the pan while the second side is cooking, or while they are on the baking rack. Either will work fine
Serve warm or room temperature.
If you want to freeze some welsh cakes for later, you can either freeze some cooked welsh cakes in a ziplock bag. Or you can cut them out and freeze the uncooked cakes. To do this, cut out the welsh cakes, place them on parchment paper on a tray and freeze until firm. Then place them in a ziplock bag or plastic container, layered with parchment paper in between. To cook, simply defrost the cakes and then cook following the instructions above.