Mary Berry Welsh Cakes Recipe

Mary Berry Welsh Cakes
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 6 Mins Total Time: 26 Mins

Mary Berry Welsh Cakes are a classic example of traditional baking at its finest, combining the simplicity of home cooking with a comforting taste. These cakes, which resemble a cross between a scone and a pancake, are cooked on a griddle and are known for their delightful texture and flavor. Suitable for serving 4-6 people, this recipe can be prepared in less than an hour, making it a great option for afternoon tea or as a thoughtful homemade gift.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to create these delightful cakes, sharing personal insights and expert tips to ensure your baking success.

What are Mary Berry Welsh Cakes?

Mary Berry Welsh Cakes are a classic British snack, originating from Wales. They are small, round cakes, lightly spiced and studded with dried fruit, cooked on a griddle and often dusted with caster sugar. Their texture strikes a delightful balance between a tender scone and a fluffy pancake, making them a beloved treat across generations.

Mary Berry Welsh Cakes Recipe

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick to Prepare: These cakes come together quickly, making them perfect for impromptu gatherings or a sudden craving for something sweet and comforting.
  • Versatile: Welsh Cakes can be enjoyed at any time of the day, be it breakfast, afternoon tea, or as a snack.
  • Customizable: Easily adaptable, you can add your favorite dried fruits or spices to make them uniquely yours.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Welsh Cakes

  • 225g (8 oz / 1/2 lb) Self-Raising Flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g (3.5 oz / 1/4 lb) Butter, cut into cubes (plus extra for cooking)
  • 50g (1.8 oz / 1/8 lb) Caster Sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 75g (2.6 oz / 1/6 lb) Currants
  • 1 large Egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice (optional, for flavor)
  • A pinch of Salt
  • Milk, if needed to form a dough

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Welsh Cakes

Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients

Before you start, ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Measure out your flour, butter, sugar, currants, and if using, mixed spice. This step ensures a smooth baking process, helping you focus on the art of making these cakes.

Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl, sift the self-raising flour and add a pinch of salt. This not only prevents lumps but also aerates the flour, contributing to the lightness of the cakes.

Step 3: Incorporate Butter

Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. This method helps to evenly distribute the fat, creating a tender texture in the cakes.

Step 4: Stir in Sugar and Currants

Once the butter is fully incorporated, stir in the caster sugar and currants, mixing until evenly distributed. The currants add a lovely chewiness and sweetness to each bite.

Step 5: Bind the Dough

Make a well in the center of your mixture and add the beaten egg. Mix together to form a firm dough, adding a splash of milk if the mixture feels too dry. It’s crucial not to overwork the dough to maintain the cake’s tender crumb.

Step 6: Roll and Cut the Dough

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 5mm (1/4 inch) thickness. Using a round cutter (about 7.5cm or 3 inches in diameter), cut out rounds from the dough. Re-roll any offcuts and continue cutting until all the dough is used.

Step 7: Cook the Welsh Cakes

Heat a griddle pan or heavy-based frying pan over medium-low heat. Lightly grease with butter. Cook the Welsh cakes in batches, for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. The cakes should rise slightly and have a soft, spongy texture when pressed lightly.

Step 8: Serve with Sugar

Transfer the cooked Welsh Cakes to a wire rack and, while still warm, sprinkle with caster sugar. This adds a delightful crunch and sweetness to the soft, warm cakes.

Welsh Cakes Recipe Mary Berry

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Welsh Cakes?

  • Honey or Maple Syrup: Drizzle with honey or maple syrup for a sweet, sticky finish.
  • Yogurt: Pair with a side of Greek yogurt for a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the cakes.
  • Butter: Serve warm with a pat of butter melting on top, enhancing their richness.
  • Cheese: For a savory twist, enjoy with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Ice Cream: Accompany with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful dessert option.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Welsh Cakes

  • Rest the Dough: Allow the dough to rest for about 30 minutes before rolling out. This helps the gluten relax, making the dough easier to work with.
  • Use a Heavy Pan: A cast iron skillet or heavy frying pan distributes heat more evenly, preventing hot spots that can burn the cakes.
  • Test the Heat: Drop a small amount of flour onto the griddle – if it turns golden in a few seconds, the griddle is at the perfect temperature.
  • Keep Them Warm: If serving immediately, keep cooked Welsh Cakes on a covered plate or in a warm oven until ready to serve, ensuring they stay soft and warm.

Variations of Mary Berry Welsh Cakes

  • Orange and Cranberry: Incorporate dried cranberries and orange zest into the dough for a festive variation.
  • Nutty: Add finely chopped walnuts or almonds for a crunchy texture.
  • Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free flour blend to accommodate dietary restrictions, ensuring everyone can enjoy these treats.
  • Vegan: Substitute the butter with a dairy-free alternative and use a plant-based milk and egg replacer to make vegan Welsh Cakes.
  • Herbed: For a savory version, reduce the sugar and add finely chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme.

Nutrition value (per cake)

  • Calories: Approximately 150 kcal
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Sodium: 100mg
  • Cholesterol: 25mg


Can I Make Welsh Cakes Without a Griddle?

Yes, Welsh Cakes can be made without a traditional griddle. A heavy-bottomed frying pan or cast iron skillet serves as an excellent alternative. These alternatives provide even heat distribution, crucial for cooking Welsh Cakes to perfection. Preheat the pan over medium-low heat before adding the cakes, ensuring they cook through without burning on the outside.

How Long Do Welsh Cakes Last?

Stored properly in an airtight container, Welsh Cakes can last up to 3 days at room temperature. To extend their freshness, you can refrigerate them for up to a week or freeze them for up to a month. To enjoy, simply thaw (if frozen) and reheat gently to restore their warmth and tenderness.

Can I Use Regular Flour Instead of Self-Raising Flour?

Yes, you can use regular (all-purpose) flour as a substitute for self-raising flour. To replicate the leavening effect of self-raising flour, add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and a pinch of salt for each cup of all-purpose flour used in the recipe. This adjustment ensures your Welsh Cakes rise beautifully and have a light, tender texture.

Are Welsh Cakes Meant to Be Eaten Warm or Cold?

Welsh Cakes can be enjoyed both warm and cold, according to personal preference. Serving them warm, fresh off the griddle, or reheated, accentuates their buttery texture and the spices’ aroma, making them irresistibly comforting. However, they’re also delightful at room temperature, offering a firmer texture that’s perfect for packing as a snack or picnic treat.

Where Do Welsh Cakes Originate From?

Welsh Cakes originate from Wales, United Kingdom. They are a traditional Welsh snack dating back to the 19th century, originally cooked on a bakestone over a fire. These cakes were a practical and satisfying treat for miners and workers, easily transportable and filling. Over time, Welsh Cakes have become a beloved part of Welsh culture and cuisine, enjoyed in homes and celebrations across the country and beyond.

What Do Welsh Cakes Taste Like?

Welsh Cakes have a unique taste that blends the sweetness of sugar and dried fruit with the subtle warmth of spice, typically mixed spice or nutmeg. Their texture is similar to a scone but slightly denser, with a light, tender crumb that melts in the mouth. The exterior is gently crisped from cooking on a griddle, adding a delightful contrast to the soft interior. The addition of currants or raisins provides bursts of sweetness, making Welsh Cakes a balanced, not overly sweet treat.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s Welsh Cakes recipe offers a delightful glimpse into the world of traditional British baking, bringing a piece of Welsh heritage to your kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the game, these cakes are sure to impress with their tender texture, rich flavor, and the joy they bring to any table. So, tie on your apron, and let’s make baking history together.

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