Traditional Welsh biscuity cakes

This is a very old traditional Welsh recipe from my boyfriend's family. It was passed on to his mother from his grandmother, whose family ran the village bakery in Ammanford, near Swansea, Wales. The family name is Morgan, of course. They claim to be related to Captain Morgan the pirate.

The Welsh for welsh cakes is teisen lap (tea 'ion lap) which means "plate cake". It is traditionally cooked on a "maern"(pronounced marn), which is a half-inch thick piece of cast iron placed on the fire or cooker. A heavy frypan or griddle will do.


(Makes 40-50)


  1. Sieve flour and spices into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add fat and mix to crumbs like pastry.
  3. Stir in remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Break up the egg in a separate bowl.
  5. Add broken egg to dry ingredients, mix well until it starts to form a lump.
  6. If it is s not sticking together, add a little milk (it should be moister than pastry but should not be soggy)
  7. Roll out on a floured board to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  8. Cut into rounds using a biscuit cutter.
  9. Heat "pan" (see above) grease "pan" and when fat has melted wipe off with absorbent paper. This leaves a residue of fat, the cakes actually cook in their own fat. The "pan" is hot enough when you can hold your hand just above it for about a minute.
  10. Place some cakes on "pan" and wait till they turn a speckled golden brown colour.
  11. Turn them over and repeat on the other side. They are better cooked quite slowly about 3-5 minutes each cake.


Mixed spice is a mix of ground spices that is available premixed here in England. It is typically 60% coriander, 30% cinnamon, 5% nutmeg, with small traces of ginger and clove. Sometimes it has 10-15% caraway or 10% cassia (Saigon cinnamon) mixed in. Since almost all "cinnamon" sold in North America is really cassia, and cassia has a stronger flavor than true cinnamon, a North American formula for mixed spice would be 70% coriander, 15% cinnamon, 5% nutmeg, and 10% caraway.

Welsh cakes are great eaten hot or cold, with or without butter, though I never use butter myself. I usually make a double batch because they don't keep. But to store them, allow to go cold and place in an airtight box. They will keep for up to a week.

I often add a little more of the spices to give them more of a kick.


Difficulty: easy.
Time: 5 minutes preparation, 20 minutes cooking.
Precision: Measure all ingredients.


Tina Coulson 
STC Telecomunications Ltd, New Southgate, London. 
[ Life is hard in the fast lane of life 
 and slow in the fast lane of the M1 ]  
Recipe last modified: 19 Jun 86

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Path: decwrl!recipes
From: tina@stc.uk (Tina Coulson)
Newsgroups: mod.recipes
Subject: RECIPE: Welshcakes
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Date: 15 Aug 86 05:57:11 GMT
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