Welsh cake, traditionally known as Pice ar y Maen and also known as ‘bakestones’, are traditional cakes that are made in Wales. The reason they are known as bakestones is because these cakes are cooked on a bakestone, a cast iron griddle that is meant especially for this purpose. The main ingredients that go into making these cakes are sultanas, raisins and currants other than the flour that is the base ingredient. Available as 2 inch diameter round shape, these cakes can be served hot or cold, dusted with caster sugar. Though not common, they are also eaten with accompaniments such as jam or butter, spread in the split cake. These cakes are ideally served with hot tea.
Origin of Welsh Cake Recipe
Welsh cake, as the name suggests, originates in Wales, where the local people are known to favor the local dishes. The Welsh history is as old as the 4th/5th century, and the traditions, especially the culinary traditions, have carried forward and are prevalent till date.
Preparation of Pice ar y Maen
The Pice ar y Maen is prepared with self-rising flour, butter, eggs, sultanas, currants, raisins, sugar and milk. The cake is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. A pinch of salt too is added to the dough. Caster sugar is used for sprinkling on the hot cakes once they are baked. This cake batter is prepared like any other cake. Milk makes the cake slightly moist.
Variations of Welsh Cake Recipe
The bakestones are quite popular as a snack and there are some variations of this recipe that are enjoyed by many.
Llech Cymreig – Whole meal flour (instead of self-raisin flour) is the main ingredient of this variation of the cake. Baking powder is not used in this recipe and because of this; the Llech Cymreig cakes are flatter and crisper. This cake too is made on the bakestone as a slab and that is how it gets the name Llech Cymreig, which means ‘Welsh Slab’.
Teisen Lap – This is a traditional Welsh cake. The cake is moist and shallow filled with fruits.
There are other variations of this version of the cake, such as Teisen Carawe (wherein the cake is flavored with caraway seeds), Teisen Sinamon (flavored with cinnamon) and Teisen Mel (honey used as the sweetening agent).
Jam Split – In this variation the cake is split horizontally and spread with jam in the split. This cake is eaten like a sandwich.
Pice ar y Maen Trivia
When grated apple is added to the dough, it tends to keep the Welsh cake moist for a longer period.