Delightful Welsh Cakes: A Traditional Treat

Ladies and gentlemen, gather around and let me introduce you to one of the most delicious teatime treats from Wales – Welsh cakes, or Pice ar y maen. Imagine this – buttery, sweet and spiced cakes loaded with seedless raisins, cooked golden brown on a bakestone or griddle. Every bite is heaven!

Now, why do I want to share this Welsh cakes recipe with you? Simply because I want to spread the joy of Welsh teatime treats beyond the boundaries of Wales. The recipe has been passed down in many Welsh families for generations, and it’s still popular as ever. And today, I’m honored to be sharing my family recipe with you so that you can experience the joy of Welsh cakes in your own home.

But that’s not all. This is not just a regular cake recipe; it’s truly unlike any other cake you’ve had before. It has a dry crumbly texture with a little bit of sweetness from the added dried fruit, meaning these cakes were originally cooked on a heated bakestone. And let me tell you, baking them on a bakestone or griddle gives them an incredibly unique texture and flavor that will win the hearts of everyone who tries it.

So come along with me on this journey to make one of the most traditional Welsh desserts – the Welsh cakes picau ar y maen or pice ar y maen. It’s time to indulge in some authentic British cuisine and add some variety to your teatime routine.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Welsh Cakes (Pice Ar Y Maen)
Welsh Cakes (Pice Ar Y Maen)

Folks, if you’re looking for a little something to brighten up your morning or afternoon tea, then you simply must try these Welsh Cakes. Not only are they incredibly easy to make, but they also have a taste that will make your taste buds sing like a choir of angels!

What I love about this recipe is that it uses simple ingredients – flour, baking powder, sugar, butter, eggs, and milk – in a way that creates a truly unforgettable treat. Plus, the addition of seedless raisins or currants gives them a little extra flavor and texture.

But let me tell you the real reason why you’ll love this recipe: Welsh Cakes are steeped in tradition and history. These beautiful little cakes were originally cooked on a bakestone, heated over an open fire, which adds a little bit of magic to the process of making them. So when you sit down to have one with your cup of tea, you’ll be enjoying a sense of tradition that has been passed down through generations.

And it’s not just about tradition – Welsh Cakes are truly unlike any other baked good out there. They’re not quite scones, not quite cookies – they occupy their own delightful in-between space. And because they’re hard and dry rather than soft and crumbly like many other cakes, they’re perfect for traveling or taking on picnics (or even playing Pooh Sticks!).

So if you want to add a little Welsh charm to your teatime treats, I urge you to give these Welsh Cakes a try. You won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

“A stack of warm and buttery Welsh Cakes straight off the griddle”

Here’s a rundown of the ingredients you’ll need for this Welsh Cake recipe:

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch of allspice

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter (cold and cubed)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins

For the recipe, it’s essential to ensure that the butter is cold, and the egg is beaten before adding it to the mixture. Seedless raisins are preferred over others because they blend well with the cakes’ texture without overpowering them. All-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, and sugar are mixed together in a bowl. Then we add to this bowl the cubed butter and rub it in with our fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Milk, a beaten egg, and raisins are added to this mixture, bound to form firm dough made to wait before further processing.

The Recipe How-To

“A sprinkle of powdered sugar adds a touch of sweetness to these traditional treats”

Now that we have gathered all the ingredients, let’s get started with the recipe!

Step One: Preparing the Dough

Firstly, sift together 2 cups of flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of mixed spice. Once sifted, mix them all together in a large mixing bowl.

After mixing the dry ingredients well, rub in 4 ounces (115g) of unsalted butter into the dry mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Make sure to use your fingertips to rub the butter into the mixture rather than using a spoon or other utensils.

Next step is to add in ½ cup (115g) caster sugar and 1/3 cup (85g) seedless raisins. Mix well into the dry ingredients.

Finally, make a well in the center and add in one medium-sized beaten egg and just enough milk (about 50-60ml) to bring everything together to form a soft dough. Mix everything evenly.

Step Two: Cooking

On medium heat, heat up an ungreased flat-bottom pan and sprinkle some flour or butter. Once hot, cook each Welsh cake for about 2-4 minutes on both sides until golden brown. It is recommended to flip your Welsh cake using a spatula rather than tossing it.

Move them onto a wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar while still warm.

Step Three: Serving

Served best hot with some tea or butter topped with jam!

Enjoy your Welsh Cakes!

Substitutions and Variations

“The perfect afternoon snack to enjoy with a cup of tea”

Well, it’s always exciting to mix things up in the kitchen and try something new. So, if you’re feeling a little adventurous, I’ve got some substitution and variation ideas for you!

First of all, if you’re not a fan of seedless raisins, you can definitely switch them out for some currants or even chopped-up dried apricots. Just make sure to adjust the amount to your liking.

If you don’t have allspice on hand, you can use a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg instead. That will give your Welsh cakes that lovely, warm spice flavor without having to make a trip to the store.

And if you’re looking for a dairy-free version or simply want to cut down on butter, feel free to substitute it with your favorite plant-based butter or coconut oil. You’ll still get that same delicious crumbly texture and rich flavor.

Now, let’s get creative with our variations! How about adding some orange zest or chopped walnuts for an extra crunch? Or why not swap out the raisins altogether and add in some chocolate chips for a more indulgent treat?

You can also experiment with different flours like whole wheat, spelt or even gluten-free flour blend if needed. And if you want to take it up a notch, try grilling or toasting your Welsh cakes for a perfectly crispy exterior.

Whether you stick to the traditional ingredients or try something new, these Welsh cakes are sure to be a hit at any teatime gathering – or simply as a sweet snack any time of day. Happy baking!

Serving and Pairing

“Golden-brown and crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside”

Welsh Cakes may be a traditional Welsh teatime treat, but they’re truly unlike any other dessert item. These little cakes are perfect for breakfast, lunch or a midday snack, and they pair well with many things.

When serving Welsh Cakes, I often like to dust them with a sprinkle of caster sugar, which makes them even more irresistible. A light drizzle of honey on top can also provide extra sweetness that pairs exceptionally well with the buttery flavor of the cakes picau ar maen.

Welsh Cakes are commonly enjoyed with a fresh cup of tea or a refreshing glass of milk. The mildly sweet notes of the cakes complement the slight bitterness in tea perfectly while also soaking up some liquid from the drink. Alternatively, these cakes can also be enjoyed alongside your morning coffee, hot chocolate or as an after-dinner dessert.

If you want to get adventurous with pairing, you can slice Welsh Cakes in half and sandwich jam or honey in between them for a sweet treat. Another excellent variation is to serve these cakes warm with stewed fruits such as apples, berries or raisins on top for added flavor.

Overall, Welsh Cakes are incredibly versatile and can be served in many ways depending on your preferences. They’re perfect for sharing too and always make you feel at home with their warm comforting aroma and delectable taste.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Flour, sugar, butter, and a few simple ingredients come together to make these delightful cakes”

Ah, the joys of baking! One of the best things about Welsh Cakes is that they can be made ahead of time and stored for later. These cakes are truly forgiving and hold up well even when stored for a few days.

If you’re planning on making these cakes in advance, allow them to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature. They can last for several days, but let’s be honest, you’ll probably gobble them up before then!

When it comes to reheating Welsh Cakes, there are a couple of options. You can simply pop them in the microwave for a few seconds until they’re warm and tender. But if you want to keep that delightful crust on the outside, I recommend reheating them on a griddle or frying pan on low heat for 30 seconds on each side.

For those who are especially organized or love meal prep, you can also freeze your Welsh Cakes for later use. Just wrap each cake individually in cling film, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag, and pop them in the freezer. These will keep for up to three months. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, thaw the cakes out completely before reheating or eating cold.

From make-ahead to storage and reheating tips, Welsh Cakes are your perfect teatime snack companion – fresh, pre-baked or frozen!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Treat yourself to a bite of Welsh history with these classic Pice Ar Y Maen”

Now that you’re preparing to make the Welsh Cakes, let me share a few tips I’ve gathered over the years to help you get perfect results.

Firstly, be sure to rub the butter into the dry ingredients well. This process not only aids in incorporating the butter but also helps to create plenty of air pockets in the dough. As a result, your Welsh Cakes will be lighter and fluffier instead of dense and heavy.

Secondly, it’s important to use a non-stick pan or griddle with minimal oil when cooking the Welsh Cakes. A little oil goes a long way here; otherwise, they may burn on the outside and remain raw on the inside.

Thirdly, take care not to overwork the dough. Overkneading can lead to harder and less delicate Welsh cakes. It is best to handle your dough with light hands.

Fourthly, freshly-ground spices make all the difference in this recipe. If possible, use whole spices that you can grind yourself just before adding them in. The aroma and flavor will be significantly better than pre-ground spices from your pantry.

Lastly, leave some space between each Welsh Cake while cooking them. They will expand slightly while cooking, so it’s better for them not to touch each other while on the stove. Your cakes will cook evenly and won’t have unwanted flat surfaces where they were once touching and sticking together.

By following these simple tips, you’ll have perfectly cooked Welsh Cakes that are delicious and enjoyable every time!


Now that we’ve gone through the recipe and discussed some tips for perfect results, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about Welsh cakes. By answering these questions, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to make this traditional teatime treat from Wales. So, let’s jump into some FAQs!

What does Pice ar y maen mean?

These delightful treats, also known as ‘cakes on the stone’, have their roots in Welsh cuisine where they were traditionally cooked on a hot bakestone. They are not only simple to create, making them a great activity for kids, but they also offer a range of flavor options to satisfy any taste bud.

What is pice Maen?

A beloved treat in Wales are Welsh cakes, also known as pics, bakestones or pice bach. These sweet breads have been enjoyed in the country since the late 1800s, elevating the original recipe of flatbread cooked on a griddle by adding fat, sugar, and dried fruit.

What makes a Welsh cake Welsh?

The birthplace of Welsh Cakes is Wales, a region in Great Britain. These cakes possess a unique taste and texture that is a combination of a scone, a pancake, and a cookie, making them distinct from any of these treats in particular.

Why do my Welsh cakes go hard?

Were your Welsh cakes dry, hard, or crumbly? If so, it’s possible that the mixture wasn’t moist enough. To avoid this, try adding a bit of milk to the mixture, which will make it softer and more malleable.

Bottom Line

Now that you know how to make Welsh cakes, it’s time for you to try it out for yourself. Whether it’s for St. David’s Day or just a teatime treat, these little cakes are truly unlike any other. With their hard, dry, crumbly texture and the subtle sweetness of seedless raisins, Welsh Cakes are a traditional recipe that has passed through generations and is still popular as ever.

So why not give it a try? With its simple ingredients, you don’t even have to go grocery shopping. Don’t forget to try out some of the substitutions and variations mentioned earlier in this article too! Get creative and make your own modifications.

Remember to keep your pan heat low and slow as these cakes should be cooked all the way through without burning the outer layer. The key ingredient is baking powder, which creates a fluffy texture in combination with the flour mixture. I hope my tips and insights will help you achieve perfect results every time.

There’s no excuse not to make Welsh Cakes! They’re easy to prepare, can be stored and reheated later, and pair well with a whole range of beverages! So what are you waiting for? Whip up a batch of these delicious cakes picau ar maen today!

Welsh Cakes (Pice Ar Y Maen)

Welsh Cakes (Pice Ar Y Maen) Recipe

Traditional little cakes which are very popular throughout Wales, these were originally cooked on a bakestone and often served to travellers upon their arrival at one of their many Welsh Inns. I first tasted them in Northern Wales when we lived in Chester and this was the recipe given to me for them at the tea room where we first were treated to them, in Llangollen, (prounounced Clangocklin.) Situated at the side of the river which runs through the centre of the town we spent a lovely few hours there one sunny afternoon.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Welsh cuisine
Keyword < 30 Mins, Easy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings 12 cakes
Calories 402.4kcal


  • 16 ounces flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 4 ounces lard
  • 7 ounces sugar
  • 4 ounces seedless raisins
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • milk, to mix
  • caster sugar to sprinkle on the warm cake


  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, allspice, and salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter and lard with your fingertips. Add the sugar and raisins.
  • Beat the eggs and add to the mixture along with a little milk, only using enough to make a fairly stiff dough. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of about 1/4 inch and cut into 2 inch rounds with a pastry cutter.
  • Cook on a greased griddle or heavy based frying pan over medium high heat for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Dust with sugar and serve warm.


Serving: 1107g | Calories: 402.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 53.1g | Protein: 5.3g | Fat: 19.1g | Saturated Fat: 9.2g | Cholesterol: 61.1mg | Sodium: 124.5mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 22.3g

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