Cooked like a pancake instead of baked, Welsh Cookies are soft, buttery, lightly sweet, and a perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of your favorite tea or coffee!
My grandmother was Welsh. Her parents came here right from Wales, and she was the first generation born here in America. They brought with them some excellent recipes – and this recipe for Welsh Cookies is my absolute favorite!
I decided to make this recipe my very first post (!!!) in honor of my grandmother. Gram is the one who truly – more than anyone else – inspired me to get in the kitchen and cook.
Her food was always so delicious! Every. Single. Thing. My grandfather always used to joke and say that she could probably make crap taste good.
For my entire life growing up, I spent just about every single Sunday in the kitchen watching and helping Gram cook Sunday dinner. She taught me so much!
Her food was always made from scratch using simple ingredients, and nothing was complicated, but everything tasted soooo good. I’ve tried to follow closely in her footsteps!
Okay, now back to those Welsh Cookies…
I’ve also seen these called Welsh Cakes, but I have always known them as Welsh Cookies because that’s what Gram and everyone else who made them always called them. To me, they are kind of a hybrid between a pancake, a scone, and a cookie.
Call them what you like. I’ll just call them delicious!
Welsh Cookies were always a special treat for me because they only seemed to make an appearance around the holidays or for special occasions – and I have no idea why! They are super easy and quick to make. You could be enjoying them in under an hour.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE WELSH COOKIES:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Unsalted butter
- Zante currants
In case you aren’t familiar with Zante currants, they’re just extra-tiny raisins (Trivia: they are dried black Corinth grapes – originally from Greece – and are not actually true currants). I’ve never had any trouble finding them in the grocery store (right by the raisins). Here’s a photo showing the difference in size:
HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE WELSH COOKIES:
Here’s a tip to help you avoid overcooking your cookies: After you have flipped them over, when you think they are done, carefully (don’t touch the hot griddle/pan) feel the edges of the cookies (kind of give the cookies a light squeeze). The edges should be dry but have a little give to them. This will give you a soft, perfectly-cooked, not-dried-out cookie. If the edges are hard and have no give, the cookies are likely overdone.
And please, please, please don’t skip the step of sprinkling the cookies with some sugar right after they come off the griddle. It makes these cookies everything they are supposed to be!
You can eat these while still warm (Mmm, yes, please!), but they are still super delicious after they have cooled off. Some people like to put butter on them. Me, I like them just the way they are, warm or cold, with a cup of tea.
- Can I use raisins instead of currants? Sure you can! The cookies will just be slightly different. Traditional Welsh Cookies are made with currants. Currants are a lot smaller than raisins, and so they distribute more evenly throughout the dough, and you will get more currants in every bite.
- What if I don’t have unsalted butter? You can use regular salted butter, but I would recommend eliminating the salt called for in the recipe. You don’t want your cookies to be too salty.
- What if I don’t have an electric griddle? No problem! Use a non-stick frying pan or a stove-top griddle. Watch carefully until you get the temperature just right. Since all stoves are different, I would suggest starting on medium-low or medium and make adjustments as needed from there.
- Can I bake these in the oven? Nope. Sorry!
Thanks, Gram for inspiring me to get in the kitchen and cook like you! Miss you!
I hope you try this recipe for Welsh Cookies and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!
Welsh Cookies (aka Welsh Cakes)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cubed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup Zante currants
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 additional tablespoons sugar, for sprinkling on the cookies
- cooking spray, for greasing the griddle/pan
- Preheat an electric griddle to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
- Add the cold butter cubes to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, fork, or two butter knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Stir in the sugar and currants.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg and milk. Using a fork, mix until the dough comes together. It will be slightly sticky. If it is very, very sticky and too wet, add a little more flour.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough and shape it into a disc. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of ¼ inch.
- Using a 2½-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, cut out 14 cookies. You may have to re-roll the dough trimmings a few times.
- Lightly spray the griddle with cooking spray. Place as many cookies on the griddle as will fit without them touching each other.
- Cook on the first side until the bottom is lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
- Carefully flip over and cook until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove cookies from the griddle and place on a wire cooling rack. Immediately sprinkle with some sugar while the cookies are still warm.
- If you were not able to fit all of your cookies on the griddle at once, repeat the process with the remaining cookies.
- Serve warm or cooled.
- If you don’t have an electric griddle, you can use a non-stick frying pan or stove-top griddle. Start at medium-low to medium heat, watch the cookies carefully, and adjust the heat as necessary.
- Raisins can be substituted for the currants, but I recommend using currants. They are smaller and will distribute more evenly throughout the dough. You can find them by the raisins in the grocery store.
- Tip to making sure these don’t get overcooked: After you have flipped them over, when you think they are done, carefully (don’t touch the hot griddle/pan) and gently feel the edges of the cookies (give the cookies a light squeeze). The edges should be dry but have a little give. This will give you a soft, not-dried-out cookie. If the edges are hard and there is no give, they are likely overdone.
- Total cooking time of 28 minutes is based on being able to cook these all in one batch. Please add about 8 minutes for cooking each additional batch.
Thanks for posting this recipe!! I love to try out traditional family recipes and as soon as I pick up some currants I’ll be making these 🙂
Hey, Ali! You’re welcome! I’m so glad you’ll be trying these. Let me know how it goes!
I made these and they tasted just like the ones I remember. Nice treat on a snowy March 1st. These cookies aren’t sold in New England.
Thank you, Rachel…so happy you enjoyed them!
Made them this morning, I love them! Not too sweet, delicious! I will definitely make them again.
Hi, Kim! Thanks for taking the time to leave a rating and comment. I’m so happy that you enjoyed these cookies!!
My mother-in-law used to make them, but she didn’t share recipes…glad to have this one. They are great and not super sweet.
Thank you so much!
I am from Scranton, PA as well! I am not Welsh but Irish and I have always called these Welsh cookies but regardless after reading this recipe I wanted to make them immediately! I will be making them for Christmas so I will be back to let you know how it goes 🙂
Thanks, Colleen! I’m so happy that you’ll be trying these, and I can’t wait to hear how it went. Merry Christmas!
My great grandfather came over from Wales and settled in Scranton, PA -a big coal mining city at the time. All the church ladies make Welsh Cookies and entire bakes sales of just these cookies often sell out in a couple hours. There, they are a staple during Lent. My aunt made the BEST Welsh cookies I ever tasted. Very similar recipe to this one but she used shortening and refrigerated the dough overnight to make it easier to roll out. Still one of my favorite cookies after 60 years! 🙂
Hey there, Jill! Thanks for sharing your story and tips about these awesome little cookies! They truly are the best and will always be my favorite!
My Nan was from Scranton, PA and Welsh cookies were all of our favorite. We also use crisco and we add nuts and cinnamon. My nan moved to Buffalo, NY in the 40’s maybe 30’s and the tradition has moved on through all my cousins, there are not many of us family or friends that do not love these cookies:)
Hi, Juanita! Thanks for sharing your story. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Welsh Cookies once they try one!
Please don’t ever call Welsh Cakes ‘cookies’ they are not. From a Welsh women.
Moire, as you can see from the title, I am well aware that the traditional name for these are Welsh Cakes. I actually have quite a bit of Welsh in me, and my family and lots of Welsh people I know have always called them Welsh Cookies. Perhaps it’s a regional thing from the area where I grew up, but I think it’s perfectly fine to call them cookies, especially since that is what many people search for when looking for the recipe. No matter what they are called, they are delicious…I think we can agree on that!
If you are going to give a recipe for a traditional dish it is polite to use the correct name. These are Welsh CAKES and if you make them correctly they are nothing like American cookies.
Thank you, I came to say the same thing. These are Welsh CAKES and not what Americans call cookies.
Jane, in reply to both of your comments: I was polite and did use the name Welsh Cakes. It’s right there in the title. As I said in the post, my Welsh grandmother and many Welsh people in the area where I grew up have always called them Welsh Cookies. Since so many people know them this way, I want them to be able to find the recipe when they search for Welsh Cookies or Welsh Cakes.
Hi Michelle, I am originally from Northeastern PA and my Mom’s side of the family was all Welsh and in NEPA they are indeed called Welsh Cookies by those of Welsh descent (and everyone else). I remember practically every church had them during their Lenten bake sales but at our house Christmas wasn’t the same if we didn’t have these gems. As you said, no matter what they are called, they are delicious. So sorry folks are getting so insistent about the name — there are a lot of traditional dishes out there that go by several names — I know if I were searching I would be looking for Welsh Cookies since that’s what I remember. A delicious piece of my childhood!
Hi, Jill! Thanks for your comment and sharing your story! I’ve been quite surprised at the strong reactions to the name, and it’s so nice to hear from someone of Welsh descent that has also always known these as Welsh Cookies!
Can’t wait to try these. Our family on my dads side is Eelsh and we made a family trip for our ancestors. While staying in a home (like B&B) the owner served us Welsh cakes and tea. It was delicious! My mom and I watched her in her kitchen making a batch. We made them when we got home…just not the same. 😕. But, I will try them again!!! Thanks!
Hi, Pat! Wow, that must have been an awesome trip (I hope to see Wales someday)! I am excited for you to try these and really hope you enjoy them. Please come back and let me know how it went!
Thank you for sharing your Gram’s recipe. I have my German great-grandmother’s Fried Cookie recipe which is similar to this, however it doesn’t call for nutmeg or for sprinking sugar when they are warm from the oven, although I’m sure that would be good. The amount of ingredients is also different, as ours yields roughly 6 dozen cookies. We always found them to be even better when they are a couple days old.
Hi, BJ! Thanks for sharing this…your great-grandmother’s cookies sound delicious too!
Dr. John Templar
Welch Cookies….To die for….Mom made them regularly…it is the family favorite.
Relatives could smell them cooking, miles away and show up at the house for a sampling. Mom was positive it was a family recipe…she grew up in Scranton, PA. “The kids” only got the recipe when they got married. No marriage no cookies.!
I looked the cookie up on the WWW because it seemed the written recipe card was missing something. SURPRISE!!! Yummy, Yummy! Minus the powdered sugar….caught holy hell once when I put peanut butter on a cookie.
Thanks so much for the 5-star rating and for sharing your story!
Colleen, I am from Scranton also, We lived in Tripp Park. Our church used to make them. Made these, but like so many things, “they’re never as good as Mom’s or Grandmas”!
Robert H. Jackson
My own grandmother was also first generation American. Our family came from Pwll-y-glaw, Wales and settled in the Pittston, PA area. My grandmother never had a written recipe for all the wonderful things she baked so my mother followed her around and measured the ingredients. According to that recipe she always used lard instead of butter. All mixing was done by hand so she could feel the dough and make any necessary changes. The resulting cookies were absolutely delicious. I still use my grandmother’s recipe (as written down by my mother) and the griddle cookies always bring back wonderful childhood memories. If you haven’t tried lard instead of butter give it a shot because the resulting flavor and consistency are excellent.
Thanks for sharing your own grandmother’s recipe.
Hi, Dr. J! I actually grew up and lived in the Wyoming Valley not that far from Pittston until just a few years ago when we moved further north. Thanks so much for sharing this story about your grandmother’s cookies. I just love how food helps us make so many happy memories. And I will most definitely try using lard instead of butter sometime. Thanks again!
Great cakes! I split the dough into two pieces. And refrigerated both for about an hour to firm up the dough. Due to the amount of butter it will get soft quickly so make sure the dough is cold and your kitchen isn’t too hot. Also, make sure the surface and pin are well floured before rolling. Use a non stick pan and you will not need to grease it.
Hi, Mary! Thanks so much for the 5-star rating and all the great tips, and I’m so happy you enjoyed them!
Thanks very much, Kimberley!