Margaret John's St David's Day Video

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Last updated: 24 February 2010

"Eat Your Heart Out, Nigella!" declares Margaret on tasting her efforts. Here's the way to make delicious Welsh cakes from everyone's favourite 'mam' and one of our best-loved performers.

From High Hopes to Gavin & Stacey, Doctor Who to Dixon Of Dock Green, Margaret John has had an incredible acting career. But for St David's Day she's not in character as she shows us how to make a traditional Welsh dish that everyone can enjoy.


With Welsh cakes you don't have the stress of wondering if they'll rise or not, like a soufflé or scones or cup cakes. They're good for cooking with young children: they can help with the mixing, cut shapes out of the mixture, pick out the raisins and sprinkle them with flour. You don't even have to cook them very long.


  • 225g/8oz self-raising flour, sieved
  • 110g/4oz salted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g currants, sultanas or raisins
  • Milk, if needed
  • 85g/3oz caster sugar


  1. Rub the butter into the sieved flour to make breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, dried fruit and then the egg. Mix to combine, then form a ball of dough, using a splash of milk if needed.
  2. Roll out the pastry until it is a 5mm/¼" thick and cut into rounds with a 7.5-10cm/3-4in fluted cutter.
  3. You now need a bakestone or heavy iron griddle, but a good frying pan will do. Rub it with butter and wipe the excess away. Put it on to a direct heat and wait until it heats up, place the Welsh cakes on the griddle, bakestone or frying pan, turning once. They need about 2-3 minutes each side. Each side needs to be caramel brown before turning.
  4. Remove from the pan and dust with caster sugar while still warm. Some people split them when cool and sandwich them together with jam.

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