St. David’s Day – Welsh Cakes recipe

29 February 2012 § 15 Comments

As a proud Welsh woman  I will be wearing my daffodil with pride and eating lots of buttery food tomorrow to celebrate St. David’s Day.


Wales is known as both the land of song and a place with its own language of many consonants, vowels are generally in short supply. Take the village name – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch as an example of Welsh language genius (or insanity.) All this talk of Wales makes me feel a tad homesick and I always feel some hiraeth this time of year (amazingly for the Welsh language a word with three vowels – that must be a record).

Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. It is a mixture between nostalgia and a longing for home. At times like these I long for the food of my childhood: Welsh Cakes in particular. They are addictive, buttery little griddle cakes. But why do my Welsh Cakes never taste as good as my mum’s or my nan’s? Maybe it has something to do with the lard or the heavy well-seasoned heavy cast iron griddle pan they used or both? Here’s the Welsh Cake recipe I posted last year.

Wales is not internationally renowned for its food, but we have a treasure trove of national resources. With close proximity to the sea – laverbread (seaweed) is a favorite, mussels, cockles are all plentiful. There is much farmland with really rich soil which means lots of fresh root vegetables and dairy. The grass really is as green as Tom Jones sang which makes Welsh lamb the best in the world (apologies to any Kiwis reading this for my rampant Welsh nationalism). Our national cheese is Caerphilly a crumbly white cheese with a delicate flavor. We even have the our own food Oscars – the True Taste Wales Food & Drink Awards.

Even the grey, mizzly weather here on the East Coast (very much like Wales most of the time) is making me strangely nostalgic. It is a perfect day for making some Welsh dishes. Teisin nionod and selsig Morgannwg are on my list, that’s Welsh onion tart and Glamorganshire sausage (a vegetarian dish made with leeks and cheese  with not a real sausage in sight.) Will post recipes with directions in English over the next few days.

Anyway back to celebrating Wales. I will be singing along badly to the perfect soundtrack of Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey, just a few of Wales’s best exports, perfect music for the kitchen.


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§ 15 Responses to St. David’s Day – Welsh Cakes recipe

  • Jake says:

    Oh, you can take the girl out of Wales, but you can’t take Wales out of the girl!.

    It’s certainly becoming more of a big deal over here now with marches and schools doing Eisteddfod’s. I’m sure if we could have a bank holiday then it would become as big (in Wales at least) as St Patrick’s day…. just with Brains rather than Guinness. But I guess that would make you miss it even more!.

    Welsh food is also becoming more popular. This is a true story. I was in a Welsh food festival and a guy from Liverpool was behind me and what I heard him say was “bloody Welsh, all they seem to do is make ice cream and cheese’s”!!! but it is sooo true. My only annoyance is that we don’t concentrate on our own resources e.g Menai Mussels are apparently the best in the world – yet every single one is shipped to France rather than eaten on Anglesey. There is also some species off the coast of North Wales that no one eats- yet it is worth a fortune in Korea.

    I for one will have bara brith (I’m from the North!) not Welsh cakes, with lobsgows (not cawl as u say in the South) and a nice joint of Welsh lamb with maybe some local crab (if I can get hold of some!).

    Have a super St David’s Day / Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus. When I was abroad I became ultra Welsh on this day, and guess what… when I did it, I felt dead proud of being Welsh (cheesy!).

    • Would love to try Menai Mussels sometime. Never heard cawl called lobsgows…the regional variations in such a small country are fascinating. It is funny how the Welshness is exaggerated when abroad.My best St David’s Days were spent winding up English students at Hull Uni. I made a mean leek soup back in the day. Dydd Gywl Dewi Hapus to you too!

  • Cookie says:

    Happy St David’s Day! I’ve not had Welsh cakes for years. Think I’ll have to make them. Do they somtimes have raisins in?

  • Anna says:

    happy belated st. david’s day! reading this reminded me of a visit to wales in my college days and trying to call a cab, a nice welsh person kept telling us the number was “treble-ly, treble-ly” and we just kept staring, this went on and on with “treble-ly, trebe-ly,” and our blank stares until finally they said:


    of course!

  • Anna says:

    i love google, it’s still the cab number in cardiff!

    thanks for the surprise trip down memory lane!

  • sippitysup says:

    Teisin nionod and selsig Morgannwg! The names sure make me smile. GREG

  • Hannah says:

    Happy Belated St David’s Day! I love the Welsh village name – I had no idea about all the consonants. Welsh cakes look delicious and I enjoyed learning about other Welsh foods.

  • My son attended Atlantic College, at St. Donat’s Castle (Castell Sain Dunwyd), on the Bristol Channel. My husband and I visited him there and had the pleasure of seeing some of that glorious countryside. We ate well, too!

  • Gosh, what was it? 2007-2009 I think? He went through a scholarship program as well, from the U.S. with United World Colleges. He loved the experience!

  • […] apple and transfers it into a buttery and sugary treat. This recipe is a variation of traditional Welsh Cakes (basically substitute the raisins for apple) and is definitely to be enjoyed with a piping hot cup […]

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