Wondering how to make vegan welsh cakes? Let us show you how! They’re ‘buttery’, slightly spiced and make the perfect teatime treat!
When we’re travelling in our campervan, we are always experimenting with vegan treats that you can make without an oven. We got creative and shared our favourite way to make dessert calzone over a campfire, and figured out how to make brownie in a pan.
So what’s cool about this welsh cakes recipe is that they're designed to be made without an oven. Plus, they’re super yummy and make a fantastic snack, whether you’re on the road or at home!
A traditional teatime treat
Welsh cakes have been a popular snack since the 19th century, when they were typically baked in farmhouses and cottages and were a favourite treat of coal miners.
In different regions of Wales they are known by many different names such as pice bach, tishan lechwan or tishan ar y mân. In English they are most commonly known as welsh cakes, griddle cakes or simply bakestones.
If you’ve never had a welsh cake, then imagine a cross between a shortbread and a scone. Like shortbread they are biscuity and buttery, but they have a more cakey texture like a scone.
But unlike scones, welsh cakes aren’t designed to be filled. You can butter or jam them, but with a dusting of sugar on top they are sweet enough to be enjoyed on their own.
What makes welsh cakes unique is the way they are traditionally cooked. They are not baked in an oven, but cooked on a cast iron bakestone, known as a planc in Wales.
Here’s what you’ll need for our vegan welsh cakes:
- Plain flour (or all purpose)
- Baking powder
- Sugar (we use caster sugar)
- Vegan butter (preferably a block type such as our favourite Naturli)
- Ground flax seed + water (to replace the egg in the traditional version)
- Currants (or other dried fruit)
- Mixed spice
Variations and substitutions
To use self raising flour instead of plain, leave out the baking powder.
Instead of currants, you can use other dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas, cranberries, or chopped apricots.
Mixed spice is a traditional British spice mix. You can get this organic blend at Buy Wholefoods Online.
It’s similar to pudding spice or pumpkin pie spice in the US. We sometimes just use cinnamon, or ginger powder if that’s all we have to hand.
You can also make your own mixed spice by combining the following and storing in an airtight jar:
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground mace
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground ginger
Making the dough
Step 1 - Mix water and ground flaxseed and set aside to thicken
Step 2 - Mix flour and baking powder
Step 3 - Rub diced vegan butter into the flour
Step 4 - Mix in the sugar, dried fruit and spice
Step 5 - Add the flax 'egg'
Step 6 - Gently mix into a dough
Don't overwork the dough, as this can lead to toughness. If convenient, you can prepare the dough in advance and simply cover and chill before using.
When cooking welsh cakes you are aiming for a cooked inside and golden brown outside.
Cook them for too long and they can become more dry and crisp.
Whereas if you cook them with too much heat you’ll have an outside that is overdone, and an undercooked inside.
With a bit of practice, you’ll find the sweet spot of timing and heat that works for you and your cooking surface! Cook a couple as a test before doing a larger batch.
The best cooking surface is a preheated cast iron bakestone or flat griddle. If you haven't got one, check out Etsy for a vintage griddle.
Alternatively, use a lightly greased heavy, thick based pan, and take care not to burn them.
Serving and storage
You can eat your vegan welsh cakes either warm or cold. Ours have a habit of disappearing as soon as they are cooked…
They’re perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea, or as a late afternoon pick me up. We also like to eat them for breakfast, with some fresh fruit on the side.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
You can heat up leftover (unsugared) welsh cakes very easily by popping them in the toaster. You can also put them back on a griddle to gently reheat them on each side.
Looking for some more tasty vegan teatime recipes? Try these:
Vegan Welsh Cakes
- Bakestone or flat griddle
- Griddle Pan
Make the dough
- To make a 'flax egg', mix the ground flaxseed with the water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes while you carry on with the steps.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
- Rub the vegan butter into the flour using your fingertips.
- Add the sugar, dried fruit and mixed spice and mix through evenly.
- Add the 'flax egg' to the bowl and combine with your hands into a uniform dough.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a sheet about 5mm (¼ inch ) thick.
- Using a 7.5 cm / 3" cutter, cut out as many circles as you can fit on the rolled-out dough. Gather the remaining dough, roll it out again and cut more cakes until it is all used up.
- In the meanwhile, heat up a cast iron baking stone, flat griddle or heavy based pan on medium-high heat.
- When the baking stone or pan is evenly heated up, turn the heat down to medium and place a batch of cakes on it.
- Cook the welsh cakes for about three minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown. See cooking tips in the post above.
- Move the cooked welsh cakes onto a plate and sprinkle them with some more caster sugar.
This information is calculated per serving and is an estimate only.