Welsh Cookies, also known as Welsh Cakes, are delightful treats from Wales. These traditional goodies are a popular part of Welsh culture and are loved for their sweet, spiced flavor and soft, crumbly texture. Made from simple ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and currants or raisins, Welsh Cookies are cooked on a griddle or skillet until golden brown. These scrumptious cakes are served warmly perfect for a cup of tea or a tasty snack. Embrace the charm of Welsh culture and savor the comforting taste of Welsh Cookies – a truly delightful experience!
As I snuck into the Welsh farmhouse, I felt the cold winter air on my skin. It was late at night, and the family was fast asleep. My mission was clear: to deliver gifts to the children under the Christmas tree.
It must’ve been somewhere near the cozy kitchen where I suddenly heard some rustling. I froze, thinking I had been caught, but to my delight, it was just the farm animals. There was a cow, a sheep, and a rooster. They each stared at me and seemed rather pleased to see me.
Feeling a little tired, I decided to take a quick break and rest with the animals. That’s when I noticed the plate of Welsh cookies and a jug of warm milk left for me on the table. I couldn’t resist the temptation and decided to indulge myself.
As I savored the delicious cookies and sipped on the warm milk, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the kindness of the family and the comfort of the soft, sweet farm animals. Fond memories, indeed.
If you love these cookies, you might like to whip up a batch of these Irish Ginger Cookies, too!
Why Are They Called Welsh Cakes (Cookies)?
Welsh cakes, also known as Welsh cookies, are a traditional baked treat that originated in Wales. They are called Welsh cakes because they are a traditional food of Wales and have been made there for hundreds of years.
The name “cake” is somewhat of a misnomer, as Welsh cakes are more like a cross between a cookie and a scone. They are made from a simple dough that is rolled out and cut into circles, then cooked on a griddle or in a frying pan.
One theory about the origin of the name is that it comes from the Welsh word “picau,” which means “to prick” or “to puncture.” This refers to pricking the dough’s surface with a fork before cooking to prevent it from rising too much.
Another theory is that the name comes from the similarity in texture to traditional Welsh fruitcake, which is also known as “bara brith” or “speckled bread.”
Ingredient notes and substitutions
All-purpose flour: This can be substituted with cake flour, but the texture of the cookies might be slightly different. Turn this into a gluten-free cookie by exchanging the all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour.
Baking powder: This cannot be substituted with baking soda. If you don’t have baking powder, you can make your own by combining 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.
Ground nutmeg: This can be substituted with ground cinnamon or allspice.
Cold butter: This can be substituted with vegetable shortening, vegan butter, or margarine. However, the flavor and texture of the cookies might be slightly different.
Raisins or chocolate chips: You can use any other dried fruit or nuts of your choice instead of raisins. You can also use white, dark, or milk chocolate chips instead of raisins or mix them with raisins.
Large egg: This can be substituted with 2 small eggs or 1 jumbo egg.
Milk: You can use any milk, including dairy-free alternatives like almond milk or soy milk.
Powdered sugar: This can be substituted with granulated sugar, caster sugar, or brown sugar, but the texture of the cookies might be slightly different.
Keep any remaining cookies in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for a few days.
If you want to transport your Welsh cookies or share them with a friend, it’s a good idea to wrap them in plastic wrap.
What is the best way to eat these cookies?
Plain: Welsh cakes are delicious on their own, so you can enjoy them as a snack or a sweet treat.
With butter: Some people like to add a little bit of butter to their Welsh cakes to enhance the flavor and add some richness.
With jam or preserves: Welsh cakes also pair well with various jams or preserves, such as strawberry, raspberry, or apricot.
With whipped cream: For a more indulgent treat, you can top your Welsh cakes with a dollop of whipped cream.
With tea or coffee: Welsh cakes are a popular accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee, especially in the afternoon.
Toasted: If you have leftover Welsh cakes, you can toast them in a toaster or under the broiler for a crispy, warm treat.
How to reheat them
Microwave: Place the Welsh cakes on a microwave-safe plate and heat them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Check the Welsh cakes after 10 seconds to ensure that they are not overheated.
Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Wrap the Welsh cakes in aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake them in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until they are heated through.
Toaster: Cut the Welsh cakes in half and place them in a toaster. Toast them for 1-2 minutes or until they are warmed through
What is the history of Welsh cookies?
Historically, this traditional Welsh recipe was made by housewives and served as a special treat for holidays, celebrations, and other occasions.
They were often given as gifts and were a popular snack for coal miners and other workers.
What do Welsh cookies taste like?
Welsh cakes, also known as Welsh cookies, have a heavenly taste and texture, often described as a cross between a cookie and a scone.
They are sweet but not overly so and have a slightly crumbly texture similar to shortbread.
They are pretty similar to griddle cakes if you had to compare them to something.
Can I substitute the currents?
Yes, you can use chocolate chips in your Welsh cookies if you’d prefer. You could also try chopped dried cranberries or other fruits for a festive twist.
Welsh Cookies Recipe (aka Welsh Cakes)
- 1 Skillet
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/6 tsp ground nutmeg
- 8 tbsp cold unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup raisins, currants or chocolate chips
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and nutmeg.1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/6 tsp ground nutmeg
- Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients and, using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.8 tbsp cold unsalted butter
- Stir in the sugar and the currents or the chocolate chips.
- Make a well in the center and add the egg and milk. Use a fork to bring everything together. The dough will be sticky.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll the dough out with a rolling pin to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies with a biscuit cutter, around 2 inches thick.
- Preheat a non-stick frying pan and spray with cooking spray. Cook the cookie dough cut-outs in the pan until golden brown, turning them over halfway through the process. You can also use a cast iron griddle pan for this job.