Traditional Air Fryer Welsh Cakes

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Welcome to the fab-u-las world of Welsh cuisine! 

I’m putting a modern spin on a delicious classic with my Traditional Air Fryer Welsh Cakes recipe. 

As I’m Welsh I couldn’t resist trying this recipe in the air fryer! 

The result – perfect Welsh cakes just like my mother used to make on the bakestone.

A printable recipe card can be found at the bottom of this post.

Air Fryer Welsh Cakes With Jam And Cream

What are Welsh Cakes?

Welsh cakes, also known as “picau ar y maen” in Welsh, are traditional Welsh snacks that resemble scones or small, flat cakes.

They are made with flour, butter, currants or raisins, and sometimes include spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.

The ingredients are mixed to form a dough and cooked in an air fryer.

Welsh cakes are often sprinkled with sugar and are a popular treat in Wales enjoyed with tea or coffee.

They have a deliciously sweet and slightly spiced flavour, making them a well-known Welsh food tradition.

Air Fryer Welsh Cake Recipe

Air Fryer Welsh Cakes Displayed on A China Plate


This recipe can make around 12 to 15 Welshcakes, depending on the size of the cookie cutter or glass used to cut out the dough circles. 

Adjust the size and thickness to make more or fewer cakes. 

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
  • 50g currants or sultanas
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of milk (optional)
  • Cooking spray (optional)

How To Cook Welsh Cakes In The Air Fryer

Welsh Cakes Cooling On A Wire Rack

Start by preheating your air fryer to 180C/360F.

Line the air fryer basket(s) with parchment paper liners or lightly grease it with oil spray to prevent the Welsh cakes from sticking.

In a large bowl, combine the self-raising flour, caster sugar, mixed spice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Mix well. 

Add the diced unsalted butter to the dry ingredients.

Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. 

This step is crucial for achieving that flaky texture.

Once the butter is evenly distributed, add the currants or sultanas to the mixture and stir.

Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten egg. 

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gradually mix in the egg until it forms a firm dough.

Be careful not to overwork the dough, as this can result in tough Welsh cakes.

TIP: If you find the dough too dry and crumbly add a splash of milk. Add enough milk for the dough to become firm.

Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and transfer to a lightly floured work surface.

Using a non-stick rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1cm (0.4 inches). 

Use a 6-7 cm pastry cutter or the rim of a glass to cut out circles of dough.

Once your Welsh cakes are cut out, carefully place them in the preheated air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. 

Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook them in batches.

Cook the Welsh cakes in the air fryer for approximately 5 minutes each side, or until they are golden brown and cooked through. 

Keep an eye on them as they cook, as cooking times may vary depending on the model of your air fryer.

Once cooked, transfer to a non-stick wire cooling rack to cool slightly before serving.

Welsh cakes are best enjoyed warm, either on their own or with a dollop of clotted cream and a drizzle of honey or jam.

Image Showing The Inside Of An Air Fryer Welsh Cake

Gluten-Free Air Fryer Welsh Cakes

It’s easy to make gluten-free air fryer Welsh cakes, follow the traditional recipe above substituting the self-raising flour for gluten-free self-raising flour. 

Vegan Air Fryer Welsh Cakes

This traditional recipe is easy to veganise using dairy-free products. You can replace the butter with a vegan block of butter or margarine, and use a splash of non-dairy milk to substitute the egg.

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The Beginner’s Cheat Sheet is your secret weapon for mastering air frying, get the correct timings and temperatures for all foods. 

Take the guesswork out of air frying!

Welsh Cake Tips for Success

Use Cold Butter: Make sure the butter is cold when adding it to the flour mixture. This helps create the flaky texture.

Don’t Overwork the Dough: Mix the dough until it comes together. Overworking the dough can result in tough Welsh cakes.

Preheat the Air Fryer: Ensure your air fryer is preheated to the recommended temperature before air frying. This helps them cook evenly. 

Monitor Cooking Time: Keep an eye on the Welsh cakes as they cook in the air fryer. Cooking times may vary depending on the size and model of your air fryer, so adjust as needed to avoid overcooking.

Space Them Out: Place the Welsh cakes in the air fryer basket in a single layer, leaving space between each cake to allow for proper air circulation. This ensures even cooking and prevents them from sticking together.

Flip Them Halfway: Flip the cakes halfway through the cooking time to ensure both sides are evenly browned and cooked through.

Cool Before Serving: Allow the cakes to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. This allows them to firm up slightly and makes them easier to handle.

Serve Warm: Welsh cakes are best enjoyed warm, either alone or with a dollop of clotted cream and a drizzle of honey or jam. Reheat them briefly in the air fryer if serving leftovers.

Experiment with Flavours: Feel free to get creative with flavour variations by adding different fruits, spices, or nuts to the dough. 

Practice Patience: Making Welsh cakes can take a bit of practice to get the technique right.

Don’t get discouraged if your first batch isn’t perfect – keep experimenting and enjoy the process!

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Chocolate Chip Welsh Cakes

Fold a handful of chocolate chips into the dough. The chocolate adds richness to every bite, making them perfect for chocolate lovers.

Orange and Cranberry Welsh Cakes

Add citrus flavour by adding orange zest to the dough and mixing in dried cranberries. The combination of tangy cranberries and zesty orange creates a delicious festive Welsh cake.

Ginger and Date Welsh Cakes

For a warm and spicy flavour, mix chopped dates and ground ginger into the dough. The sweetness of the dates complements the spicy kick of ginger.

Apple and Cinnamon Welsh Cakes

Dice fresh apples and sprinkle them with ground cinnamon before folding them into the dough. 

Lemon and Blueberry Welsh Cakes

Add lemon zest and fresh blueberries to the dough for some fruity freshness. 

Nutty Welsh Cakes

Add chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans to the dough for a crunchy texture and nutty flavour. 

Spiced Apple and Raisin Welsh Cakes

Toss diced apples with a sprinkle of mixed spice and mix them with raisins into the dough. The warm spices and plump raisins complement the sweet apples.

Coconut and Mango Welsh Cakes

Mix grated coconut and diced dried mango into the dough for a tropical twist. 

Maple Pecan Welsh Cakes

Drizzle maple syrup over the dough and sprinkle chopped pecans before folding them in. 

Welsh Cakes On A Blue Gingham Cloth

Serving Suggestions

Traditional Style: Enjoy your Welsh cakes warm, straight from the air fryer, with a sprinkle of icing sugar or a drizzle of honey. Serve alongside a cup of hot tea or coffee for a classic Welsh treat.

Clotted Cream and Jam: For a more indulgent treat, serve your Welsh cakes with a generous dollop of clotted cream and a spoonful of your favourite jam or preserves. 

Ice Cream: Take your Welsh cakes to the next level by serving them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Yoghurt and Berries: Serve your Welsh cakes with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or natural yoghurt and a handful of fresh berries. 

Nut Butter: Spread a layer of almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter on your Welsh cakes for a deliciously nutty twist. 

Syrup Drizzle: Drizzle your Welsh cakes with maple syrup, golden syrup, or chocolate sauce for an extra indulgent treat. 

Cheese Selection: For a savoury option, serve your Welsh cakes with a selection of cheeses such as Cheddar, Brie, or Stilton. 

Whipped Cream: Top your Welsh cakes with a dollop of freshly whipped cream adding a luxurious touch to the already delicious Welsh cakes.

Fresh Fruit: Add a selection of fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, or sliced bananas. The juicy sweetness of the fruit complements the buttery richness of the Welshcakes.

Fresh Fruit Displayed In A Bowl

Storing And Freezing Welsh Cakes

Storing Welsh Cakes

Allow the Welsh cakes to cool completely before storing them.

Place the cooled Welsh cakes in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag.

Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

To maintain freshness, consider placing a piece of parchment paper between layers of Welshcakes to prevent them from sticking together.

Avoid storing Welshcakes in the refrigerator, as this can dry them out.

How To Freeze Welsh Cakes

If you want to freeze Welsh cakes, allow them to cool completely first.

Once cooled, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place the baking sheet in the freezer and flash-freeze the Welsh cakes for about 1 hour or until they are firm.

Once frozen, transfer the Welsh cakes to a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible before sealing.

Label the bag or container with the date and contents for easy identification.

Welsh cakes can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thawing Frozen Welsh Cakes

To thaw frozen Welsh cakes, follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove the Welsh cakes from the freezer and transfer them to a plate or airtight container.
  2. Place the Welsh cakes in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. This gradual thawing process will help prevent them from becoming soggy.
  3. Once thawed, you can enjoy the Welsh cakes at room temperature or reheat them in the air fryer.

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Welsh Cake FAQs

Can you make Welsh cakes in an air fryer?

Cooking Welsh cakes in an air fryer is a convenient and efficient way to achieve crispy edges and a soft, spongy centre.

How do you make Welshcakes in an air fryer?

Follow the traditional recipe but adjust the cooking method. Preheat the air fryer, cook the Welsh cakes in batches, and monitor them closely for even cooking.

What temperature should I set my air fryer for Welsh cakes?

Preheat your air fryer to 180C/360F before cooking Welsh cakes. This temperature helps achieve the perfect air-frying balance. 

How long do Welsh cakes take to cook in an air fryer?

Air frying takes around 5 minutes on each side. However, cooking times may vary depending on the size and model of your air fryer.

Do I need to grease the air fryer basket before cooking Welsh cakes?

It’s recommended to either line the air fryer basket with parchment paper or lightly grease it with an oil spray to prevent sticking.

Can I use different types of fruit in air fryer Welsh cakes?

While currants or sultanas are traditional, you can experiment with other dried fruits like raisins, chopped apricots, or cranberries.

Can I freeze Welsh cakes made in an air fryer?

You can freeze Welsh cakes. Allow them to cool completely, flash freeze then store them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw before serving.

How do I reheat Welsh cakes in the air fryer?

To reheat Welsh cakes, place them in the air fryer for a minute or two until warmed through. Avoid overheating to prevent them from becoming dry.

Can I make Welsh cakes ahead of time and reheat them in the air fryer?

You can make them ahead of time and reheat them in the air fryer for a quick and convenient treat. Just ensure they are stored properly to maintain freshness.

Are Welsh cakes cooked in an air fryer healthier than traditional methods?

Cooking Welsh cakes in an air fryer requires less oil compared to traditional methods like frying or griddling, making them a healthier option. 

Why is my Welsh cake dough falling apart?

The dough may be too dry, causing it to crumble and fall apart. This can happen if you didn’t add enough liquid or if the flour measurement was inaccurate. Try adding a splash of milk to the dough to help bind it together.


Hi, I’m Annemarie

Having recently retired, I found myself looking for a new project to channel my energy.

That’s when the idea struck to create a dedicated UK air frying website.

Combining my passion for cooking and the desire to promote healthy eating in busy households, I began developing a collection of recipes tailored for those looking for quick and nutritious meals.

Join me on my journey and discover delicious ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste.

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