Welsh Breakfast Cakes
Are you looking for a delightful new breakfast idea? Something different than a pancake? These little welsh breakfast cakes are the answer!
Are you looking for a delightful new breakfast idea? Something a bit different than a boring old pancake or waffle (as delicious as they may be)?
These unassuming little breakfast cakes just may be the answer.
While skimming through my King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion one Saturday morning, desperately trying to find an out-of-the norm breakfast idea for my family, I spied these little gems.
Similar to a biscuit in preparation, the butter is cut into the dry ingredients and a soft dough is formed by adding the eggs and milk.
The cute little cakes are dry-fried on a griddle or skillet and the result is a light and tender cross between a sweet biscuit and a pancake – divine sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and perfect with a drizzle of maple syrup.
I was thrilled with the puffed, sturdy texture and taste. They held together well enough to eat out of hand and the lovely, buttery texture was heavenly.
These keep excellently and warmed perfectly in the toaster the next morning. To say they were a hit is a complete understatement. I’m sure many future Saturday mornings will be seeing Welsh Cakes appear magically for breakfast.
One Year Ago: White Velvet Sugar Cookies
Two Years Ago: Zephyr Pancakes
Welsh Breakfast Cakes
- 3 cups (426 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (212 g) sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (227 g) butter, cut into pieces
- ¾ currants, optional – I left out
- 2 large eggs beaten with enough milk to yield 3/4 cup liquid
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture is a coarse, even consistency. Add the currants, then add the egg and milk. Stir to form a soft dough.
- Divide the dough in half and working with one half at a time (keep the other refrigerated, especially if your kitchen is warm), roll the dough into a circle 1/4-inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or other small round cutter, cut circles of dough. Heat an ungreased skillet or griddle over medium heat (on my electric griddle I preheated to 300 degrees).
- Fry the cakes for about 2 minutes on the first side and an additional 1 1/2 minutes on the second, or until both sides are golden brown. As with pancakes, you’ll have to adjust the heat if you find the cakes are browned on the outside before they are thoroughly cooked in the middle. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Keep the cakes warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve. Sprinkle with granulated sugar or cinnamon-sugar before serving, if desired.
Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion
67 Comments on “Welsh Breakfast Cakes”
My family loved these!
My parents made these a couple years ago, and I couldn’t find the recipe. A while ago, I had an immense craving (as one does for good food) for these, so I dug and dug until I found it! These will cure your need for sweet golden brown buttery cakes that practically dissolve in your mouth.
My husband loves these! They turn out yummy, but I tend to have a lot of trouble with the dough. Maybe I’m just not very good at cutting in butter. The dough tends to get really sticky and difficult to roll out. I would love if you could do a video tutorial on these or on how to deal with cold butter dough like this!
Hi Mel, been following your blog for almost a year now your recipes have been such a lifesaver! But I failed miserably at this recipe ;; Do you have a tutorial on how to cut butter into dough? I haven’t tried it before today so I wasn’t quite sure what to be looking for and it turned out horribly. The dough just stuck to everything it touched – I had to just throw it away. Please help!
Hi Kris, sorry this recipe gave you trouble. I don’t have a specific tutorial on cutting in butter, sorry about that but maybe I can try and put one together. Did you use a pastry blender or two forks? Usually I just work the butter into the dough (quickly so the butter doesn’t get too soft) until the butter is pea sized and the mixture is coarse.
These look so good. The recipe says ‘ 3/4 currant. ‘ please clarify. 3/4 currant jam as a condiment??? That seems very scant for 36 fluffy sturdy pancakes. Thank you.
It’s 3/4 CUP currants to fold into the batter.
Hmm… I’m still scratching my head over this one. I make ‘Welsh Cakes’, or ‘picau ar y maen’, ‘pice bach’, ‘cane grip’, ‘teisen radial’, or ‘Pics’ in the non-Welsh parlance. They have less sugar, less butter (or margarine or lard or shortening), less eggs and less milk. And they look completely and entirely different than the photo provided in this recipe. They’re not biscuits, they’re not cookies, they’re not like anything else the average North American has tasted. (Mine never last long when I gift friends and family with them.)
But you’ve piqued my curiosity; I’m going to make them today. (Without the currants.)
schmadrian, will you share your recipe? I’m so interested in what you said, would like to try them. Thank you ahead.
I can’t wait to make these! My friend’s mother made these when I was a kid… It brings back happy memories.
I respectfully say they are delicious the traditional way. As I was eating them I remembered the craving I had the other day for banana cream pie. On went the sliced banana and whipped cream. They went from delicious to decadent. Glad I went from recipe surfing to cooking in just one instant.
That’s almost my grandma’s recipe for Welsh Cookies! She would cut them out with jelly jars. She used about double the amount of currants, and she always rolled them in sugar after dry-frying. I used to make them as a kid to sell around the neighborhood and they always sold out in a hot second. Thank you for this!
Welsh Cakes for Breakfast?? NO! Welsh cakes are eaten at room temperature in the afternoon with a cup of tea. No Strawberries, Blueberries or Maple Syrup! If you want to have traditional Welsh Cakes, eat them like the Welsh do! And its St Davids Day on the 1st March, so get mixing….Cymru Am Byth!
These had great flavor! I had a bit of trouble with the rolling out and cutting part though- my dough was way sticky! I ended up just dropping spoonfuls in to the hot pan and smooshing them down with a greased spatula. I did make 1/3 the recipe since there are just 2 of us, but I kept the proportions of all the ingredients the same, with a teensy bit of eyeballing on the salt and nutmeg of course. Anyway, wondering how to get the nice round cutouts next time?
Kate – It sounds like you might need a bit more flour in order for the dough to be rollable – sometimes decreasing a recipe like that can cause issues with the texture – I’d try a couple tablespoons more flour. I hope they work out better next time!
Made these for breakfast this morning. I did decrease the sugar to 2/3 cup as one commenter suggested and was glad I did as they were plenty sweet like that. I served them with fresh strawberries and blueberries and maple syrup. Sooooo good. Thanks for yet another keeper!
My family has a tradition that my husband and I picked up from an old college roommate where we always have breakfast foods on fast Sunday. Today we decided to branch out from the pancake/french toast/waffle routine and made these DELICIOUS breakfast cakes. My husband was so excited to eat them because they looked like “fried sugar cookies.” Thanks for sharing this recipe! We loved it! (p.s. since it’s February we used our heart cookie cutters instead of the biscuit cutter… lots of fun!)
1 cup of sugar? Seems like a lot, but I guess the recipe feeds an army.
How sugary do they turn out?
Dave – I haven’t made these in a long time but I remember them being more sugary than a pancake but way less sugary than a cookie. Somewhere in there.
Hi Mel, my welsh nana made welsh cakes for us as kids every saturday morning. They had currants in them and were eaten cold as cookies. Absolutely yummy! I will have to dig the recipe out and compare ingredients!
Hi Mel ! I do not put milk as in the original recipe, just the egg? Thank you again! and sorry for all these questions.
Judith – you’ll just need to add enough milk with the one egg to equal about 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons liquid.
Hi Mel ! I want to divide all the ingredients by 2 because the original recipe gives too welsh cake. What are the measures? Thank you…. Great recipe!!!
Hi Judith – you can just divide all the ingredients in half if you want only half the amount of breakfast cakes (1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and salt, 1/2 cup butter and 1 egg).
Hi, great recipe
I want to split the proportions of the recipe, how many cup of liquid I need to place 3/4 cup (eggs and milk)? Thank you!
Hi Judith – sorry but I’m confused by your question. Are you looking to replace the eggs? I’m not really sure what you are asking.
These are just cookies for breakfast. Look at the ingredients. They even turn out hard like a cookie, not like pancakes.
We make these all the time now! They never turn out as pretty as yours, but they taste great! We also reduce the sugar a bit so they aren’t so sweet.
My son refers to these as “tiny pancakes” and loves them with all his heart. I usually add 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger & cloves to up the flavor factor so he doesn’t have to use syrup. 🙂
I loved them, but my husband and 4 kids, who are not usually picky, didn’t care for them. I tried them again and subbed cinnamon for the nutmeg and reduced the sugar to 2/3 cups. This time they were a huge hit. I think they were just a little too sweet for my family. I have a huge sweet tooth but I like them even better with less sugar. Thanks for the great recipe! It’s nice to have something different to serve for breakfast.
Made these this morning substituting cinnamon for the nutmeg. Wow absolutely fantastic. Thanks for a great recipe.
i bet these are better than regular pancakes. so much butter!!!!
Oh fun! I just had these in New Zealand for the first time and was hoping to find a recipe for them :). There the baker added chopped dates, which was very nice. Thanks for sharing! The currants would definitely give them a British flavor!
Made these this morning & ate mine while standing at the stove because everyone kept coming back w/ empty plates saying, “More!”. We all enjoyed these & my husband really, really enjoyed them! My favorite part of cooking is pleasing his taste buds so thank you for another victory!
Jess – I use cold butter in this, similar to cutting in butter to a pie crust or biscuit recipe. Glad you found your way here – I hope you enjoy the recipes!
One question…is the butter cold, right from the fridge or is it supposed to be room temperature?
Thanks, just found you…will be back over and over.
Hi Mel! Been reading your blog for a while now but just had to let you know that I made these again this morning and my family just LOVES them! So yummy with a bit of homemade apricot-pineapple jam spread on top, but last time I dipped them in honey Greek yogurt and they were divine both ways! mmm… my mouth is watering thinking about the leftovers in the fridge. We’ll see if they make until morning! haha! Thanks for the great recipes in each post!
I know this is an older post, but I just ran across it. I was wondering what you thought about making the dough, cutting it out and then freezing the circles before cooking in the pan? Thanks – love your blog! Sarah
Sarah – I’ve never tried that, but I think it is a great idea.
I made these for breakfast this morning and we really liked them. I did it all in my food processor, and it worked out great. Definitely a cross between a biscuit, a cookie and a pancake! Fantastic!
Thanks, Reyna! Love the idea of putting it all together in the food processor.
Have you ever tried using a food processor to cut the butter (which is frozen first)? I have a recipe for pie crust that does that (oh sooo much faster and easier than the regular method), but I’ve never tried it for biscuits. Just wondering…
Monica – I never use my food processor to cut in butter because I have a really small food processor and it usually becomes a nightmare. However, I bet it would work great – especially if you’ve used the method before on pie crust.
Jannet – you’ll have to let me know how these work out as a base for strawberry shortcake. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!
We made these for dinner tonight, Sunday is breakfast for dinner at our house. They were a huge hit- from the baby to the daddy and all the picky kids in between! I will be making more next week as a base for strawberry shortcake- I was going to use the leftovers from tonight, but weren’t any! I love the sweet dough without the crumbs or soggyness of cake or biscuits.
These kind of remind me of Welsh cookies my Grandma would always make (she was part Welsh). You made them in a similar way. Our church would have Welsh cookie sales and all the ladies would get together with their griddles and make these cookies. Ah, memories!
Hi SueT and welcome! I’m very glad that you liked these cakes. I do think using margarine would make a difference in texture and taste, but I’m glad you liked them anyway. Also glad you liked the chicken cordon bleu casserole – thanks for letting me know!
Am new subscriber so everything looks so god! Made these on the weekend and they were good, but did with margerine (should’ve known) and they ended up needing way more flour to make it workable. Would it make that big of a difference? Result was a little more puck-like than I wanted but was still pretty good. Reheated in toaster for Sunday! Also made the chicken cordon bleu casserole – was fabulous!
jacki – so glad you liked these!
Angela – I agree on the berries – oh divineness on these little babies!
TaLaisa – I’m excited to know the dough kept for a day and still worked out great!
Stacie – until your comment, I couldn’t quite place it, but I had the same flavor/texture reminder of sugar cookies, too. I’m glad they were a hit!
These we oh so yummy. The flavored reminded me a bit of sugar cookies, so c’mon, who wouldn’t want that for breakfast?! I was surprised how filling they were. Next time I think I’ll add some flax seeds and do half whole wheat flour. I used fresh nutmeg, and I think that makes a world of a difference. Thanks for the fun recipe!
We made these for a Saturday morning breakfast. Yum! I wrapped up and refrigerated the second half of the dough and we had them again for breakfast this morning. A hit!
Couldn’t wait 24 hours to make them…had them this morning and they were tasty! A little butter, a bit of cinnamon…so good. I was just wishing that I had some berries to go with them. Oh summer, where are you?
My one-year old thought she was in breakfast heaven. Barely any left for breakfast tomorrow, at this rate!
very different ..in a good way.A bit of trial and error with the temp but well worth the effort…Mel scores again.!
Angie, I actually think these would freeze decently! I hadn’t thought of it, but stacked in a bag and frozen, I think they would be great reheated in the toaster. Let me know if you try it.
Wow, I have to try these! They look and sound so good.
I have that cookbook in my shelf; I can see it from where I’m sitting. Now I’m going to have to make these cakes. What a dip I am to have overlooked them.
what’s this ‘drizzle of maple syrup’ business? i want a cascade! thanks for the unique and interesting recipe, melanie–i’m an equal opportunity cake-eater. 🙂
These look delicious!! Thanks for sharing this with us!
These look amazing…. might just have to give this recipe to Rick for our Saturday morning breakfast. ;o) Do you think they would freeze well??
These look great and are not what I expected. They looked like those old fashioned corn meal pancakes for a minute there.
Definitely going to try these for company this weekend!
These might just be our Sunday morning this week. Especially if we do the stawberry patch on Saturday. They look like they’d be awesome with some homemade strawberry syrup!
I’ve never even heard of Welsh Cakes before, but they look and sound delicious. I’m always on the look out for something to mix breakfast up. Have you ever made Ebelskivers? My mother in law gave me an ebelskiver pan a couple years ago. We’ve had a lot of fun coming up with different fillings and combinations, and the kids think they are the best things ever!
sorry, one more comment from me… you warm these up in the toaster? Can I just say that that is brilliant? I usually re-warm pancakes in the microwave, but they get soggy that way. What a great tip! Thanks!
I think these will have to be made this weekend! Thanks for all of your great recipes- I just put your address in my toolbar so I could find you in one click!
Ooooh! These look so good! Definitely something that would be a big hit in my house!! Maybe I will try them tomorrow…
Mmmm…these look so good! I am not a huge breakfast fan, but the way you describe these makes me want to try them this weekend. Thanks for sharing, Mel!