Back home in Canada, Welsh cakes were not something I grew up eating and after adopting a gluten free diet in my 20s, this little treat completely escaped my world.
My boyfriend has been requesting them for absolute ages and I’m so glad I finally caved in and learned how to make them. lol I may be late to the party, but I’m officially a fan!
First of all, I just love how EASY they are to make. And they’re cooked on a griddle (or a frying pan) so there’s no faffing around with baking either. But more importantly, they’re delicious. The perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.
And you can just pop them in the toaster for a quick breakfast or snack. 🙂
Play around with the flavours
While traditional Welsh cakes are often made with raisins, sultanas or currants, in reality they taste great with any dried fruit. I personally really like using chopped up dried apricots.
They’re also nice with chopped up walnuts or even chocolate chips (which can be a great substitute if you’re not a fan of dried fruit).
Refrigerate your dough (before rolling and cutting)
This will give the dry ingredients time to absorb some of the liquid and it allows the butter to harden up again. Overall this makes the dough much easier to roll and cut out.
Otherwise the dough can be quite sticky, especially on hot summer days which cause the butter to melt quickly at room temperature.
The flours I’m using
For these I used a mixture of ASDA gluten free flour and and tapioca starch. But of course you can use any all purpose gluten free flour blend you have access to where you live. Just make sure to add xanthan gum if your blend doesn’t already contain it.
Where to find tapioca starch
Chinese/Asian supermarkets are your best bet, but you can also buy it online. There are plenty of brands that are certified gluten free as well, for peace of mind.
If you don’t have tapioca starch
You can simply use all purpose gluten free flour instead, but the resulting texture isn’t as good. You may need to add a bit more flour as well so add it in slowly until you reach the right consistency.
The amount of flour needed may vary a little
Depending on the size of your egg and what flour blend you use. So just bear that in mind. If your dough is a little too dry, add some milk (a tiny little bit at a time). If it’s too wet – to the point of not quite forming a ball – add a bit more flour.
What is the texture of Welsh cakes
I’ve never tried a normal wheat Welsh cake so I don’t know for certain what the texture is supposed to be. But if my boyfriend is to be trusted, they are meant to have a slightly dry/crumbly/flaky texture while also being light and somewhat melt in the mouth.
After some experimenting (and several days of eating Welsh cakes for breakfast lol), I’m pretty happy with the final result and the non-gluten free boyfriend approved. He even got himself a packet of M&S normal Welsh cakes to compare (he takes his role very seriously lol) and gave mine a 10/10!
How to store your gluten free Welsh cakes
Let your freshly cooked welsh cakes cool down a little, then place them in an air tight container and store in a cool, dry place. Don’t store them in the fridge.
How to reheat Welsh cakes
In my opinion, they are best served warm (with a sprinkle of sugar and some butter on top). You can reheat any leftovers in the microwave, toaster or in a frying pan. 🙂
- 85g plain all purpose gluten free flour (+ extra for rolling) (I used ASDA free from)
- 45g tapioca starch
- 40g caster sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum (only if your blend doesn't already contain it)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 small egg (45g)
- 40g butter (or 20g butter + 20g lard)
- 40g dried apricots (or dried fruit of your choice)
- 15g walnuts (optional)
- Cooking fat of your choice (I used coconut oil)
Cook your Welsh cakes for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
PREPARE THE DOUGH:
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl (both flours, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum and cinnamon).
- Add the butter (or mixture of butter and lard) – cold, straight out of the fridge and cut into small cubes – and work it into the dry ingredients with your hands until you have a crumb like consistency.
- Add in the dried apricots (finely chopped first) or dried fruit of your choice.
- Crack the egg in and mix with a spoon or fork until the dough starts to come together. Then take over with your hands and knead until you have a sticky dough ball.
- Cover with cling film or a lid and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so. This will make the dough easier to roll and cut.
ROLL THE DOUGH AND CUT THE WELSH CAKES:
- Sprinkle a bit of flour on your work surface, add the dough and sprinkle of bit o flour on top as well. Note: I like to work on non-stick silicone baking mat or baking paper.
- Flatten the dough with your hands and add a bit more flour if needed (to prevent sticking).
- Cut out the welsh cakes using a cookie cutter (about 3 inch wide). Set them aside on a plate.
- Re-roll the trimmings and repeat.
COOK YOUR GLUTEN FREE WELSH CAKES:
- Heat up a flat griddle (hot plate or pan) on low heat and give it time to properly heat up. If using a cast iron griddle, make sure it’s properly seasoned (to prevent sticking). Note: although these are traditionally made on a griddle for best results, you can still use a normal frying pan.
- Add a teaspoon of coconut oil (or cooking fat of your choice; butter, lard or oil) and spread it over the whole griddle with a spatula.
- Cook your gluten free Welsh cakes for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. You’ll know it’s time to flip them when they turn a nice golden brown colour.
- Serve warm with a sprinkle of caster sugar on top. Also great with some butter. 🙂 Note: you can re-heat them in the microwave, toaster or a pan.
Hope you like them. 🙂