food My Pennsylvania

Welsh Tea Cakes (a Taste of the Slate Belt)

January 25, 2017

Have you ever crossed a griddle cake with a chock full of currants scone? The resulting love child is a welsh tea cake.

I’ve seen them cooked on both the stove top and in the oven.

I’m going to give you the down and dirty version of my favorite light breakfast or snack. In the traditional version, the tea cakes need to be rolled out which is both messy and sticky. My version is a drop version (given to be by my lovely friend, Jean Roper who in her Slate Belt kitchen appreciates both taste and efficiency).

Welsh Tea Cakes

welsh tea cakes are currant studded goodies that make a terrific snack or light breakfast

  • Prep Time: 10h
  • Cook Time: 14h
  • Total Time: 20h
  • Serves: 8
  • Yield: About 16
  • Category:


  • 3 cups AP Flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch salt
  • 5 ounces currants
  • 1 cup whole or 2% milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar together and then add the rest of the ingredients. This will make a stiff and sticky dough and will need to be mixed by hand or by using a heavy duty mixer like a kitchenaid. Using an ice cream scoop, place dollops well spread apart on a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until wedges are lightly brown. cool on racks. You can also try a version using dried cranberries and a tbsp of orange peel for a nice twist on the traditional. These can be rolled out to an 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter if you desire a more traditional tea cake

Pennsylvania is pivotal to the Welsh immigration to the United States of America. From the founding of the Pennsylvania colonies in 1681 to 1700, the Welsh were the largest group immigrating and by 1700 one-third of the population of Pennsylvania were Welsh. The Welsh Quakers came to Pennsylvania for religious freedom and were granted a 40,000 acre tract of land north of Philadelphia. The Welsh had their own land and self-government. Skilled industrial workers came to Pennsylvania from Wales; iron puddlers and rollers, coal miners, slate quarrymen and tin platers. Two-thirds of the 109 miners killed in the 1869 breaker fire near Wilkes-Barre were Welsh. The Slate Belt consists of towns in upper Northampton County (Bangor, Wind Gap and Pen Argyl). Here is a great link about the history of the region.

The Welsh gave us some interesting town names…Bala Cynwyd, Upper Gwnydd, Berwyn, Bangor.They need more appreciation than a discussion about their tea cakes. I also love pasties (meat and potato hand pies) but that is another post topic.

Please enjoy the tea cakes. Give them room as you bake them on your cookie sheet, they do spread out.

In a personal note…you can find my weekly post on Wednesdays in the future. I had to rearrange my schedule a bit to make sure I can help someone recovering from surgery.tea cakes.jpg


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