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Welsh Potato Cakes – The Only Cookbook in the Village Random Recipes #36

randomrecipes2‘New year, New book’ is the challenge for Random Recipes this month. After a busy Christmas packed with food and fun, Dom from Belleau Kitchen challenged us to randomly select a recipe from our newest cookbooks. With a pile of books looking at me dolefully from the shelf, I was very good over the last 12 months and bought only one cookbook and even that was from a second hand bookshop. Oh, I did collect a few along the way but I was very restrained. If people weren’t sure what to buy me, I asked them to donate money to the Leukaemia Foundation in lieu of a gift. I did end up with one cookbook at Christmas – ‘Favourite Welsh Teatime Recipes’, a souvenir present from my globetrotting friend Josie. So that’s where my RR is plucked from this month.
Wales, Cymru...says it all!

Wales! Cymru! Say no more…

Wales! Cymru! Home of sing-song accents, consonant laden words and leeks. Birthplace of Tom Jones, Dame Shirley and Eisteddfods. Those Welsh sure know how to sing. And didn’t we have a lovely time, the day we went to Bangor? Well I did. I’ve been to Wales a few times and have marvelled at those fantastic craggy peaks and passes in Snowdonia and been horribly disappointed by the twee Portmeirion (not sure what I was expecting…) I’ve nearly been blown off the cliffs at The South Stacks and been positively charmed by the seafront at Landudno. I’ve probably seen a good deal more of Wales than many in the UK. Yet, I can’t say I know much about the cuisine or national dishes (except leeks of course).

Thankfully this little cookbook was keen to educate me. From this book I learned that the Welsh eat lots of cakes and most of those have dried fruit in them. My recipe however, was fruit free. It was Teisennau Tatws or, Welsh Potato Cakes. I wasn’t sure whether it was a sweet or savoury recipe with both salt and sugar in the mix so I hedged my bets and tried them both ways. I fried half the batch in a mix of oil and butter (probably far too much but Oh so good!), seasoned liberally with salt and pepper and enjoyed them with some pan fried mushrooms and bacon. I fried the second batch of Welsh Potato Cakes in an almost dry pan with just a mist of cooking spray and topped them with jam. Sweet or savoury these little treats are quick to make and just as quick to eat.

Welsh Potato Cakes on a plate with the recipe book
Favourite Welsh Teatime Recipes
Teisennau Tatws
Welsh Potato Cakes
  • 110g plain flour
  • 500g cooked potatoes, well mashed & cooled
  • 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn sugar
  • 30g butter, melted
  • milk ( a few teaspoons)


  • Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a bowl.
  • Add mashed potato and combine well.
  •  Mix in melted butter and sufficient milk to form a stiff dough.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly flour board, knead gently and press out until the dough is a few millimetres thick (approx 1cm). Cut into rounds.
  • Heat a heavy based frying pan with a small amount butter or some cooking spray.
  • Cook Welsh Potato Cakes for approximately 4 minutes on either side until the scones are nicely browned.
  • Serve with butter and jam
Welsh Potato Cakes with Jam
A reminder of the rules
  1. select your cookbook according to the theme
  2. take that book off the shelf and open it at a random page.
  3. cook the recipe on this page or if it’s something you’ve cooked before then turn to the very next page and cook that dish… and don’t cheat… do it with a friend in the room who will make you stick to it…it’s a challenge after all and you’re only cheating yourself… this is specifically designed to take you out of your comfort zone…!
  4. you may change the recipe for dietary or monetary or seasonal availability reasons only
14 comments… add one
  • belleau kitchen January 17, 2014, 10:23 pm

    ooooh, how sweet and lovely do these look? So simple yet so perfectly Welsh… I do love little books like this, they remind me of holidays from childhood… lovely random recipes entry, thank you so much x

  • Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things January 18, 2014, 6:41 am

    Great recipe, Fiona… the potato cakes do look delicious. And what an interesting cookbook!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 18, 2014, 11:46 am

      Thank Liz – there's literally dozens of these books printed as I think there is one for every cute or attractive desination in the UK (of which there are many)

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef January 20, 2014, 9:52 pm

    I've only been to Wales twice in my life but both times I spent most of the time reading (??) the signs. I should have bought a cookbook when I was there last. This sounds like a lot of fun.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 24, 2014, 6:37 pm

      It's strange to cross the invisible border and not be able to understand them! It's a cute little book – the recipes are easy and quick so I may dip in again.

  • Antonia January 31, 2014, 12:10 am

    I have a couple of books in this series. I spent most summers of my childhood in North Wales and I definitely associate Welsh food with dried fruit and leeks (I adore both Welshcakes and barabrith). I really should know more! These potato cakes look very yummy.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! February 1, 2014, 11:18 am

      The recipes are so simple and I have some lard in the freezer from another RR challenge so I may actually dip back into this book. Thanks for visiting.

  • Anne Szadorska January 31, 2014, 1:01 am

    I have a giant bag of potatoes to use up and can see a very tasty looking home for them! Do you think they will freeze well?

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! February 1, 2014, 11:21 am

      Hi Anna – I freeze almost everything. With only two people in the house, it can take a long time to work your way through things. Cheese, shop bought biscuits, cream, butter, beans. You name it. I think if you were going to freeze these you would make the dough, cut the shapes and freeze uncooked. They are best when freshly cooked so just defrost and fry in the pan. Let me know how you go.

  • Daphne August 14, 2015, 6:37 pm

    Good Morning Anna, I am popping over to visit you from Carole’s Food on Friday and I noticed your Welsh cakes. I love savoury Welsh cakes and my husband loves them with bacon and a poached egg on top of his Welsh cakes….. fabulous Sunday brunch.
    Best Wishes

    • Fiona Ryan August 14, 2015, 6:55 pm

      Though I have a very sweet tooth, my preference is for savoury snacks and bakes such as cheese sones and potato cakes. Thanks very much for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment.

  • Steve Felton October 16, 2017, 5:42 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I have been making Welsh potato cakes all my life but have been making them wrong. I have mended my ways and the results are so much better. One small thing; You say flatten the dough out until its 5 cm thick. This is equivalent to 2 inches. Do really mean that.



    • Fiona Ryan July 12, 2018, 3:07 pm

      Hi Steve – thanks for your comment. Actually, I mean 1cm(5mm)! I have corrected it. Thanks for picking that up.

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