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Welsh Cookies (aka Welsh Cakes)

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.

three welsh cookies on a small plate with a large plate of cookies in the background

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE WELSH COOKIES:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Sugar
  • Zante currants
  • Egg
  • Milk

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:

raisins and zante currants shown side-by-side on a white plate

HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE WELSH COOKIES:

three photos showing steps to make welsh cookies with text that says preheat griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt, add butter and combine until...
three photos showing steps to make welsh cookies with text that says ...mixture resembles coarse crumbs, stir in the sugar and currants, make a well in the center and add egg and milk
three photos showing steps to make welsh cookies with text that says combine with a for until dough forms, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness, cut out dough into 1/2-inch rounds
three photos showing steps to make welsh cookies with text that says cook until lightly browned on bottom about 4 minutes, flip and cook until lightly browned 3 to 4 minutes, put on cooling rack, sprinkle with sugar while still warm
one photo showing steps to make welsh cookies with text that says serve warm or cooled and enjoy

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.

close up of three welsh cookies one with a bite taken out of it

COMMON QUESTIONS:

  • 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!

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three welsh cookies on a plate

Welsh Cookies (aka Welsh Cakes)

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!
4.91 from 10 votes
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Author: Michelle | Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time For Each Additional Batch: 8 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 14 (1 serving = 1 cookie)
Estimated Calories: 127

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating




Bernice Callinan

Sunday 3rd of March 2024

Have been making Welsh Cookies four times a year for the past (almost) 60 years. Last month we used your version. Our standard recipe produces about six dozen cookies, some will end up in the freezer between batches. Yours lasted almost four days. They rate the five stars. With both our Grandfathers and one Grandmother having emigrated from Wales in the 1890's we have been blessed with these treats.

Michelle

Sunday 3rd of March 2024

Thank you so much, Bernice! I am honored that you would try my recipe after making Welsh Cookies for so many years, and I'm super happy that you enjoyed them!

Kimberley

Friday 17th of June 2022

Lovely

Michelle

Friday 17th of June 2022

Thanks very much, Kimberley!

Robert H. Jackson

Saturday 14th of May 2022

Michelle, 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.

Dr. J.

Michelle

Saturday 14th of May 2022

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!

Kathy

Sunday 10th of April 2022

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"!

Dr. John Templar

Thursday 23rd of December 2021

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.

Michelle

Thursday 23rd of December 2021

Thanks so much for the 5-star rating and for sharing your story!