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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

5 from 1 vote
Wholemeal Spelt Welsh Cakes
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, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keywords: cakes, dried fruit, scones, wholemeal spelt flour
Servings: 22 cakes
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.

Sharing

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

They also go to #BakeOfTheWeek with Casa Costello and Mummy Mishaps.

And #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.

34 Comments

  1. Phil in the Kitchen

    27th February 2018 at 10:44 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      28th February 2018 at 10:06 am

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

      Reply
  2. jenny paulin

    28th February 2018 at 3:00 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      28th February 2018 at 4:10 pm

      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 🙂

      Reply
  3. Cathy @ Planet Veggie

    28th February 2018 at 3:31 pm

    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 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      28th February 2018 at 4:11 pm

      It’s St David’s Day tomorrow – go on spoil yourself 🙂

      Reply
  4. Dannii

    28th February 2018 at 4:09 pm

    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.

    Reply
  5. Choclette

    28th February 2018 at 4:12 pm

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

    Reply
  6. Lucy

    28th February 2018 at 8:21 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st March 2018 at 10:39 am

      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.

      Reply
  7. Jacqui Bellefontaine

    28th February 2018 at 9:18 pm

    They look Fab. I rather fancy making them

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st March 2018 at 10:40 am

      Oh go on Jacqui. You know you want to 😀

      Reply
  8. Rebecca Smith

    28th February 2018 at 11:37 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st March 2018 at 10:40 am

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

      Reply
  9. Ceri Jones

    1st March 2018 at 8:12 am

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st March 2018 at 10:42 am

      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.

      Reply
  10. Camilla Hawkins

    1st March 2018 at 9:53 am

    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-)

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st March 2018 at 10:43 am

      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.

      Reply
  11. Leila Benhamida

    1st March 2018 at 3:15 pm

    So yummy. Just pinned. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st March 2018 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks for dropping by Leila. They really are yummy 🙂

      Reply
  12. Anna @ Once Upon A Food Blog

    1st March 2018 at 5:40 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st March 2018 at 6:15 pm

      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.

      Reply
  13. Monika Dabrowski

    2nd March 2018 at 9:03 am

    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:)

    Reply
    • Choclette

      2nd March 2018 at 11:10 am

      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.

      Reply
  14. Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    2nd March 2018 at 11:07 am

    I’m craving Welsh Cakes so badly now!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      2nd March 2018 at 4:26 pm

      It’s the weekend very soon. Go make some Kat.

      Reply
  15. Helen at Casa Costello

    2nd March 2018 at 1:48 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      2nd March 2018 at 2:42 pm

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

      Reply
  16. Louise - Cooking with kids

    6th March 2018 at 8:06 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th March 2018 at 5:12 pm

      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 🙂

      Reply
  17. Corina Blum

    7th March 2018 at 9:23 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th March 2018 at 9:05 am

      They’re so easy to make Corina and so very satisfying 🙂

      Reply
  18. Angela / Only Crumbs Remain

    27th March 2018 at 11:25 am

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      28th March 2018 at 8:47 am

      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.

      Reply

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