A Foray into Vegan Baking: Welsh Cakes

Glorious Gluten-Free (VEGAN!) Welshcakes!

March first was Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant, or Saint David’s Feast Day if you’re not a Welsh speaker and on that day I got it into my head that I should make Welshcakes. I decided that these Welsh cakes should be gluten-free so that all of my friends could partake in them and I also decided they should be vegan. I was out of eggs and I’ve been trying to be as planty as possible recently and I didn’t want to break that streak.

It is my understanding that Welshcakes, or Picau ar a maen, are meant to be cooked between two stones. I don’t have two stones I can cook 2 dozen cookie-sized cakes on; I improvised. I used the darkest cookie sheet I had and just flipped them half way through their baking. There were gluten-free and/or vegan recipes out there on the interwebs already and I read a few of them to see what they had to say. The recipe below is a modification, not of a gluten-free or vegan recipe, but of this recipe. I did end up going to the store to look for candied peel but I had no luck in finding any. Additionally, I substituted cranberries for currants. I didn’t do this on purpose; I thought I had currants in the house. It turns out, all this time that bag of dried currants I bought for snacking was actually a bag of dried cranberries. (By “all this time” I actually mean, “the past week.” Now you know a little more about how I represent time.)

This is a really easy recipe. First, you collect your ingredients.

All of the ingredients (except the almond milk)

Then, you mix your flax egg and set it aside.

Flax "Egg"

Then, you mix the dry ingredients.


Then you add in the shortening.


Then the cranberries.

And, finally the flax “egg” and milk.

They are a little on the crumbly side, but I feel that is to be expected with gluten-free flour and definitely a little spicy. But, I love cardamom and cloves and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you aren’t into spices, you can cut the amount you use or leave out the cardamom or cloves altogether (I’d keep in the cinnamon!) They were delicious with a bit of lemon curd spread across the top. You can eat these guys with a cup of tea (Early Grey, hot) or you can just munch ’em. They are delightful (if I do say so myself)!

So, here’s my gluten-free and vegan recipe :
Ingredients:

2 cups (260 grams) gluten-free flour
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup (113 grams) vegetable-based shortening
1cup (90 grams) dried cranberries
2 TBSP flax mixed with 3TBSP water
1/4 almond milk

Instructions:

1.Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Mix flax seed with water, set aside
3. Mix dry ingredients up through ground cloves (flour, sugar, baking powder, sale and spices)
4. Add the shortening. Either cut it with knives or use a pastry mixer so that you get crumbly dough
5. Add flax and milk and mix until you have a dough and no more crumbles. (You may have to add a splash more milk.)
6. Turn out onto a floured surface, roll out the dough until it is a quarter inch thick and cut into rounds.
7. Bake rounds 7-10 minutes to a side, so that they get golden brown on both sides.
8. Nom the noms, possibly with jam, lemon curd (inclusive) or clotted cream.

Welshcake and lemoncurd

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