Saturday, 31 July 2010

Welsh Cakes and Bara Birth

Continuing with the cooking theme, I have had a busy week baking. Most of the baking has been for the freezer as my husband has a big birthday coming up soon and we are having ‘a bit of a do’.
But also I have been making Bara Brith and Welsh Cakes. When our guests arrive at our B&B, if it is an appropriate hour, they are offered Tea (or Coffee) and either Welsh Cakes or a piece of Bara Brith - although sometimes it is only a biscuit if the cake tin is empty.

Having lived in Wales for so long it’s easy to forget that for many of our guests it is their first trip to Wales and they haven’t any idea what a Welsh Cake is – let alone a piece of Bara Birth.

Welsh Cakes are a bit like normal scones but much flatter and have spices in. They are also known as griddle scones, and bakestones as they are traditionally cooked on a bakestone or a cast iron griddle. However I use a heavy based frying pan which works just as well. They are very easy to make and lovely served warm with butter and jam but equally nice just dusted with caster sugar.

Bara Brith (speckled bread in Welsh) is a cross between Fruit Loaf and Fruit Cake. The fruit is soaked in tea overnight and then mixed with flour, eggs, sugar and spices and baked like a loaf. There are recipes which have fat in and those with yeast. However mine has neither and surprisingly always rises and is delicious. A slice spread with butter is yummy.

So there you have it – two delicious Welsh delicacies for those who aren’t lucky enough to live in Wales.


  1. I love Bara Brith. I tried buying some for a while but it was never as nice as home made so I have gone back to making my own.

  2. Many years ago we spent our family holidays in North Wales, at Pensarn, near Abergele. My parents - now passed over - retired to Abergele in '63.
    I noticed your comment on Deborah's "French Vignette" (Fridge Soup)
    Those Fridge Dwellers are all quite mad. It's the cold weather, I think.
    I am very very rarely in Wales now, but should the chance arise, I will certainly keep your B&B in mind.

    With very best wishes. Mind how you go in that Fridge. They sometimes set mouse-traps.


    PS. Guess what I have to type to get this posted. "WAYSMANK" What kind of word is that!