Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Welsh Cakes and Macmillan Cancer Support

Scones, Welsh | 19th October 2011 | By

With October this year designated as Breast Cancer Awareness month, it seems fitting to review The Little Book of Treats sold in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The book was produced specifically for the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning which was held back in September, but on-going support for this vital cause is always welcome – see the website for details. It’s on sale in M&S Cafes for £3.

The booklet I was sent to review consists of 31 baking recipes which would work well for coffee mornings, school fetes and other fund raisers. There are recipes to suit the novice baker as well as some more challenging ones. Recipes have been chosen by keen home bakers as well as a number of celebrities and include: Sophie Dahl’s lemon capri torte, rhubarb crumble muffins, beetroot and chocolate brownies and pancakes from Gwyneth Paltrow. There are several I have my eye on.

I’ve been wanting to make Welsh Cakes for an age now, so looking through the book, I was delighted to come across a recipe from Sue Topley of Gillingham, Dorset. You’d think Welsh Cakes would be really simple, I certainly thought they would be, but I managed to mess them up good and proper – sigh!

This is what I did:

  • Rubbed 125g unsalted butter into 250g flour (1/2 spelt, 1/2 white), 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda, 1 tsp cream of tarter and 1/4 tsp salt until the butter had all but disappeared.
  • Stirred in 80g cardamom sugar, 75g currants and 50g of chopped dark chocolate (81%).
  • Made a well in the centre, dropped in 1 medium egg and stirred.
  • Bought the mixture together with my hands into a ball and rolled out on a floured surface to 1.5 cm deep.
  • Used one of my new cutters to make 16 rounds.
  • All had gone completely fine up to this point, but I hadn’t bargained on the chocolate factor – d’oh!
  • Heated a heavy bottomed frying pan on medium heat and added a small splash of sunflower oil to avoid sticking.
  • Placed 7 rounds in the pan (whilst I carried on cutting out the others).
  • In no time at all, they had burned black – why??? I’m still not entirely sure, because although some of the chocolate melted and burned, the pan wasn’t super hot and there wasn’t that much chocolate oozing out.
  • Hey ho, I put the oven on to warm at 200C and baked the remainder for 10 minutes. Placed on a wire rack to cool and sprinkled some caster sugar over the tops.

Welsh Cakes, but not as any self respecting Welsh person would know them! The ultimate insult following the defeat in the Rugby World Cup. Although the insides of the first batch were fine, the burnt outsides ruined them somewhat and I was so looking forward to scoffing hot Welsh Cakes straight from the pan. Those in the oven were fine, but didn’t look like or have the right texture to be anything like authentic. The overall effect of adding the chocolate was really good though and it offset the sweetness nicely. Just as many Welsh households underwent a period of heart searching following the defeat, I’ve been wondering why I failed so spectacularly. Could it be the pan or was it the chocolate?



  1. Kath

    19th October 2011 at 7:47 am

    Oh no. The ones from the oven do look good though. I would blame the pan, perhaps it wasn’t solid enough for the job. They like a cast iron griddle those welsh cakes. I had the same trouble with crumpets until I realised that they prefer a more gentle heat for a longer time. Although I am no expert so who knows? Perhaps they were upset over the rugby too?

  2. Suelle

    19th October 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I think the only way to be sure the chocolate wasn’t to blame would be to try a batch with just fruit. Although I agree with Kath that ‘solid’ really does mean ‘very SOLID’!

  3. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    19th October 2011 at 4:17 pm


  4. Chele

    19th October 2011 at 5:23 pm

    The oven ones look wonderful. Maybe it was a combination of both the pan and the chocolate? I’ve never made welsh cakes before though so I’m no expert lol

  5. A Trifle Rushed

    19th October 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Oh! No! At least the oven did a great job on the rest of the batch. Kath is right I think, cast iron griddle is called for.

  6. Karen S Booth

    19th October 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I have done that, burnt my griddle cakes! NEVER MIND! The oven ones look lush and I enjoyed your post!

  7. Baking Addict

    19th October 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Oh dear. The oven ones look great. I think the burnt ones were commiserating with the Rugby World Cup!

  8. thelittleloaf

    20th October 2011 at 7:17 am

    I wonder what went wrong – I’ve never eaten welsh cakes so don’t really know what they should look like but the ones from the oven look lovely 🙂 Great post in support of Breast Cancer awareness too – everyone should buy a copy of this book and do their bit!

  9. Foodiva

    20th October 2011 at 11:36 pm

    The chocolate must have melted and caramelised on the outside but I’m sure if you scraped off the burnt bits, they’d taste lovely! Sorry to hear Wales lost to France by one point….it’s unimaginable! This post reminds me that I need to do a write-up on Breast Cancer Awareness Month too :-).

  10. Choclette

    21st October 2011 at 8:36 am

    Kath – Yes, I don’t think that pan was quite up to the job!

    Suelle – think I might leave Welsh cakes until I have a more solid pan.

    Dom – well we can’t all be rising stars 😉

    Chele – put it like this – once bitten twice shy.

    A Trifle Rushed – yes, I think you are right.

    Karen – oh good, so it’s more than King Alfred I’ve got something in common with then.

    Baking Addict – thank you, that’s what I like to think 😉

    Little Loaf – thank you. I think I’ll stick to scones in future. Sadly, cancer is rather a scourge on our times.

    Foodiva – I expect it was a combination of pan and chocolate – hey ho, we live and learn.

  11. Brownieville Girl

    21st October 2011 at 7:30 pm

    A (very, very small) part of me is glad the other people burn thing too ….. not really, but I am still soaking a saucepan from the carrots I forgot on Sunday!!!!!!!

    At least half the batch turned out well – which is more than I can say for my carrots 🙁

  12. Johanna GGG

    22nd October 2011 at 2:03 am

    never had welsh cakes but I have found that burnt on the outside never takes away from a delicious inside – good luck with your search for the perfect one


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