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Picau Ar Y Maen (Welsh Cakes)

four round panfried raisinstudded Welsh cakes
Photo by David Loftus

Known as ‘picau ar y maen’ in Welsh, meaning ‘cakes on the stone’ (they were originally cooked on a heated bakestone), these are incredibly easy to make (perfect for children too), endlessly versatile and deeply delicious. You can serve them hot or cold, with butter, jam or ice cream, as a mid-morning snack, or as a stand-alone dessert. Welsh cakes will never let you down.


Makes 20

425g all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of salt
120g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes, plus extra for frying
120g lard or vegetable shortening, cut into cubes
175g superfine sugar
120g raisins
2 eggs, beaten
30ml whole milk

Step 1

Sift the flour, baking powder, allspice and salt together into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and vegetable shortening to the flour mixture and rub together with clean fingertips for 5–7 minutes, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and raisins and combine.

Step 2

Mix the eggs and milk together, then pour into the flour mixture and stir until it forms a stiff dough. Bring the dough together with your hands in the mixing bowl until it forms a ball. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a thickness of 1cm. Dip a 6cm round cutter in flour and cut 20 rounds from the dough.

Step 3

Melt a knob of butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat and fry the rounds in batches for 3-4 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden. Serve warm, or keep in an airtight container for up to a week and reheat gently before serving.

illustrated cover of the cookbook Time for Tea
Reprinted with permission from Fortnum & Mason: Time for Tea by Tom Parker Bowles, copyright © 2021. Published by Fourth Estate. Buy the full book from Harper Collins, Amazon or Bookshop.

How would you rate Picau Ar Y Maen (Welsh Cakes)?

  • jhgjh

    • sarathEpi

    • 6/25/2021

  • Why not convert recipe to cups/ounces?

    • audreymull

    • Alexandria, va

    • 4/18/2021

  • I’m sorry but these are not Welsh Cakes ! They are cooked on a griddle using a very small amount of butter or lard but they are not browned AT ALL nor should they be greasy looking. They should look dry but lightly browned in parts on both sides and then dredged with caster sugar. These are what they should look like, well I would show you a photo but it won’t let me. Google BBC GOOD FOOD

    • woofnwooly

    • Login, Wales UK.

    • 3/24/2021

  • Those arent welsh cakes, they are way to greasy look horrible. If you want real welsh cakes let me know we will make some and show you the proper thing.

    • Stephenwhite688

    • Wales

    • 3/18/2021