Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes – Sweet Buttery Delights from Wales

Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes

Scones, Welsh | 27th February 2018 | By

It may be cold and blustery outside, but I’m noticing signs of spring here, with snowdrops and even daffodils emerging. This combined with the fast approaching, St David’s Day on 1 March put me in mind of Wales’ national bake, Welsh cakes. My wholemeal spelt Welsh cakes are super easy to make. They’re crisp on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside and incredibly moreish. This wonder food from the west is the perfect antidote to the Beast from the East.

Welsh Cakes

If you’ve not tried or even heard of Welsh cakes, they’re little rounds of buttery deliciousness studded with dried fruit – sort of a cross between a sweet scone and a pancake. They’re made on the stove top rather than in the oven. Not so very long ago, when homes didn’t have their own ovens, cooking over an open fire was the only option. Bread and cakes were made on a griddle or bakestone. These wholemeal spelt Welsh cakes are not exactly traditional, but they’re my tribute to a nation that has the good sense to choose the leek as its national vegetable.

Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes

The Beast from the East

At the weekend, we took advantage of the clear blue skies and spent our time outside in the garden. This cold bright weather is my absolute favourite and as long as I wrap up warm and keep moving, I want to be out in it. Clearing brambles and ivy kept us both busy and warm, but on Sunday afternoon, we felt we needed a break and took off over the Forest for a brisk walk. When we got back, we needed something sweet and comforting that was quick and easy to put together. These wholemeal spelt Welsh cakes hit the spot. They’re the perfect comfort food: not too sweet, nourishing and filling.

Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes

If you look at most recipes for Welsh cakes, plain or self-raising are the flours of choice. I prefer to feel nourished by my food so used wholemeal spelt. I also like the nutty quality that wholemeal and spelt in particular bring to bakes. If you’re worried about using wholemeal flour, these wholemeal spelt Welsh cakes are a good place to start. You don’t want a spectacular rise. Welsh cakes are not meant to be light and fluffy.

Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes Dough

 For the dried fruit, I went with tradition and chose currents, but sultanas or raisins would be fine. I went easy on the sugar; enough so that we knew we were eating something sweet, but not so much as to make us feel the cakes veered towards unhealthy. Untraditionally, I added a little spice to my wholemeal spelt Welsh cakes. Again, not so much that the flavour dominated, but just a hint to enhance the buttery sweetness of the cakes. I also used yoghurt instead of milk. It adds a certain flakiness to these types of bakes, something I discovered when I first made the wonderful flaky pastry I used in this gooseberry galette.

Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes

The cakes take only minutes to cook in the pan and you can tuck into the first batch of warm cakes whilst the second batch is cooking. I’d envisaged eating just two or three each, then freezing the rest for another day. But oh no, we were so cold and hungry from our walk in the freezing wind, we ended up eating the entire batch of 22. Call us greedy, but they were irresistible. So, if you’re planning on making these wholemeal spelt Welsh cakes, just make sure you have a few others in the house to share them with.

Don’t Burn The Cakes

It may be an inappropriate moment to mention an English hero when waxing lyrical about Welsh cakes, but bear with me. My previous attempt at Welsh cakes led to charred fare worthy of King Alfred – oh yes, I burnt the cakes. The secret, I’ve realised ruefully, is to go easy on the chocolate, like none at all. It’s also important to curb your enthusiasm; bake these wholemeal spelt Welsh cakes over a moderate heat. A griddle or cast iron pan would be wonderful, but I made do with a non-stick ceramic pan, as that is all I have.

Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes – The Recipe

Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
6 mins
Total Time
26 mins
 
Baked on the stove top rather than the oven, Welsh cakes are super easy and simple to make. They're crisp on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside and incredibly moreish.
Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: British
Serves: 22 cakes
Author: Choclette @ Tin and Thyme
Ingredients
  • 250 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 125 g salted butter - cold but cut into pieces
  • 60 g golden caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
  • 60 g currants
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1-2 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour, baking powder and spice with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Stir in the sugar and currants.
  3. Make a well in the centre and break in the egg. Add the yoghurt and 1 tbsp of water. Stir from the inside out with a flat bladed knife until the dough started to come together. Add a little more water if needed.
  4. Bring the dough together with your hands. It should be soft, but not too sticky.
  5. Roll out on a floured board to about 1 cm thick and stamp into 6 cm rounds. Gather all the bits into a ball, re-roll and stamp out.

  6. Heat a cast iron pan or non-stick pan to a medium heat then place as many rounds as will fit in it.
  7. Bake for 3 minutes on one side, then flip over and bake for a further 3 minutes. The cakes should be nicely browned and risen by about a half.
  8. Place onto a cold plate and sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
  9. Repeat the process until all the dough has been used.
Recipe Notes

Best eaten warm from the pan and definitely on the day of baking, but can be frozen if needed.

 

#CookBlogShareI’m sharing these wholemeal spelt pancakes with Everyday Healthy Recipes for #CookBlogShare.

 

 

 

 

Bake of the Week LogoThey also go to #BakeOfTheWeek with Casa Costello and Mummy Mishaps.

 

 

 

 

Baking Crumbs BadgeAnd #BakingCrumbs too over at Only Crumbs Remain.

 

 

 

Other Welsh recipes you might like

 Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes. PIN IT.

Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes. Crisp on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside, these little cakes are easy to make and despite the sprinkling of sugar on the top use a lot less of the sweet stuff than most bakes.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Phil in the Kitchen
    27th February 2018

    I’m very fond of a Welsh cake or three and I’d definitely be very happy indeed with your spelt version. Who’d want a fluffy Welsh cake? The last few times I’ve been in Wales I’ve noticed a trend to try out lots of new (and sometimes very odd) flavours in the Welsh cake. I’ve tried a few and I’m not convinced that the classic flavours can be bettered, although I must admit that a raspberry and white chocolate version was really good.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      28th February 2018

      Raspberry and white chocolate? Really? I’m trying not to cringe. Sometimes the classics shouldn’t be meddled with – too much.

  2. Leave a Reply

    jenny paulin
    28th February 2018

    I do like a welsh cake and yet I rarely eat them, preferring instead to binge myself silly on hot cross buns instead! using spelt flour is a good twist on a classic recipe, and makes them a little healthier too. thank you for linking to #Bakeoftheweek x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      28th February 2018

      Well I have to say I’m quite happy to binge of hot cross buns too, but Welsh cakes are a little easier to make and a lot quicker 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    Cathy @ Planet Veggie
    28th February 2018

    I’ve had Welsh cakes once when I bought some on a quick trip to Wales, they were lovely! I keep meaning to make my own so thanks for the reminder and the recipe 🙂

  4. Leave a Reply

    Dannii
    28th February 2018

    I had a welsh cake for the first time only a few months ago. I have been missing out and I need to try to make them myself.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    28th February 2018

    Oh indeed you must. There’s nothing quite like eating them straight from the pan.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Lucy
    28th February 2018

    I am sure I’ve never tried a Welsh cake, they look delicious though so I must remedy that soon!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      1st March 2018

      Oh you absolutely must. They’re a great thing to do when you’ve got hungry kids. Fun and they can be eating them as the next batch is being cooked.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Jacqui Bellefontaine
    28th February 2018

    They look Fab. I rather fancy making them

  8. Leave a Reply

    Rebecca Smith
    28th February 2018

    Blimey, you don’t realise just how much I miss these…I really need to set to work on making a vegan and gluten free version of these, tough task ahead but try I will!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      1st March 2018

      Oh yes, you absolutely must try. There must be some gf flours that are suitable.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Ceri Jones
    1st March 2018

    I made up a batch last night! I have always wondered what they’d be like with Spelt flour, but I stuck to the traditional recipe last night – maybe next till I will have to try yours. Interesting idea to add yoghurt too.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      1st March 2018

      They are even more delicious with spelt I reckon – with or without the yoghurt 😀 It’s so cold today, I’m sort of thinking I might just have to make some more.

  10. Leave a Reply

    Camilla Hawkins
    1st March 2018

    Yummy! I tried Welsh Cakes for the first time this week as I was sent a Hamper to celebrate St Davids Day – so good, would definitely like to try making some-)

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      1st March 2018

      Ooh, a Welsh hamper sounds rather splendid. But, as usual, homemade are even better, especially as they are best eaten warm almost straight from the pan.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Leila Benhamida
    1st March 2018

    So yummy. Just pinned. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Leave a Reply

    Anna @ Once Upon A Food Blog
    1st March 2018

    I love Welsh cakes and these look perfect for this mad weather we’re having at the moment. I have to make some fruit free as no one else in my family like dried fruit but for me it’s the dried fruit that makes them.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      1st March 2018

      Oh no! You’re right, they wouldn’t really be Welsh cakes without the fruit. I guess you could add fruit to some of the dough just for you.

  13. Leave a Reply

    Monika Dabrowski
    2nd March 2018

    I love using wholemeal spelt flour too! I’ve had these cakes but didn’t know they were baked on the stove top. Your cakes look gorgeous! Thank you for bringing them to #CookBlogShare:)

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      2nd March 2018

      I baked them in the oven once and they were just not the same. They’re not meant to be light and fluffy. This time tradition wins out.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Helen at Casa Costello
    2nd March 2018

    I haven’t tried Welsh cakes for years – The last lot I tried definitely didn’t look as tasty as yours. I love when the outside is nice and crispy. Thanks so much for joining in with #BakeoftheWeek x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      2nd March 2018

      Thanks Helen. Nice and crispy is good, burnt not so much so. Luckily I got it right this time 😉

  15. Leave a Reply

    Louise - Cooking with kids
    6th March 2018

    I love a Welsh cake. I posted my recipe a couple of weeks ago but it’s not a healthy as yours . I love the idea of using yoghurt instead of milk, I’ll give it a go the next time I make them. Thanks for linking up to #BakingCrumbs

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      7th March 2018

      They are very hard to resist aren’t they? Especially when it’s cold and grey outside. Let me know what you think of the yoghurt substitution if you remember 🙂

  16. Leave a Reply

    Corina Blum
    7th March 2018

    These look lovely. One of my friends once made Welsh cakes when I was visiting her and they were really delicious. I’d love to try one of yours!

  17. Leave a Reply

    Angela / Only Crumbs Remain
    27th March 2018

    I have to confess that I’ve never tried a Welsh Cake Choclette, they definitely sound like something I would love especially eaten warm as you did during that nasty cold snap! Thankyou so much for linking up with #BakingCrumbs,
    Angela x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      28th March 2018

      Oh do try them Angela, they are so simple, but so good. But be warned, they are very easy to just keep eating. Best to have a few others around when you’re baking to help hoover them up.

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