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Award Winning Welsh Cake Recipe

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As a little girl born and bred in South Wales, March 1st meant being dressed up by my parents and sent off to school wearing a little welsh girls outfit, complete with a little black hat and a wilting daffodil pinned to my front. Welsh songs would be sung and the famous welsh cakes would be devoured. 


As an adult, however, our traditions have changed slightly yet the pride the Welsh have for their country hasn’t wavered - especially amongst our primarily Welsh staff at Penally Abbey! 

As you are surely aware, Wales are currently dominating the 6 nations rugby tournament but it is not only rugby that us Welsh folk are particularly talented at. Making Welsh cakes is something we pride ourselves on. 

Last year, after many heated debates, good-natured rivalry, talks of the ‘perfect’ technique and what defined the ultimate Welsh cake, we decided to officially put the claims to the test and the ‘Penally Abbey Welsh Cake Competition’ was born. 


All entries were asked to make their own batch of Welsh cakes, 9 in total, to present to a board of blind tasters. The kitchen was a no talking zone and any buried competitive streak anyone had came bubbling to the surface. 


Each delicious little welsh cake was critically rated by each person on the tasting committee (which was made up of housekeeping, front of house, maintenance and any passers by!!) out of five for taste, look and texture. 

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It was a tough competition with a lot riding on the title of ‘BEST WELSH CAKE AT PENALLY ABBEY’ and tensions were high. Every cake was completely delicious so the board of tasters got brutal with their scorecards and considered each cake carefully. 

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Beating Rachael Morgan by just two points, Melanie took the title!! 

With the most experience and years making her famous Welsh cakes she took the 2018 crown and her winning recipe is below…


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MEL'S AWARD WINNING RECIPE adaptation of Mary Berry's recipe


12 oz self-raising flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

6 oz butter

4 1/2 oz caster sugar

4 oz currants

3/4 teaspoon mixed spice

around 2 tablespoons of milk

caster sugar for sprinkling to serve


Prepare a heavy-based frying pan (preferably non-stick) with a little oil on the heat or ideally use the cooler top on the aga if you have one!

Measure the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and rub in the butter so it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add sugar, currants and spice. Beat the egg with the milk and add this to the mixture and mix to form a firm dough adding a little more milk if necessary. 

Roll out the dough on a lightly powered work surface to a thickness of around 5mm and cut into rounds with a fluted round cutter. 

Cook the Welsh cakes on the griddle on a low heat for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Be careful not to cook them too fast, otherwise, the centres will be fully cooked through. 

Cool on a wire rack and then dust with caster sugar. They are best eaten on the day of making and are delicious served with a dollop of butter!

Have a wonderful day celebrating and have a very happy St.David's Day!!

Saskia x

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