Green olive and herb Welsh cakes

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Anna Jones gives Welsh cakes a savoury twist in this simple, easy recipe, studding the pastry circles with olives, herbs and capers.

This recipe is taken from One Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones (£26, Fourth Estate). Photography by Issy Croker.

First published in 2021

I grew up eating Welsh cakes. My dad is from a massive Welsh family (11 brothers and sisters), so Welsh cakes were a permanent fixture and are still my dad's favourite. I make the traditional raisin-studded ones a lot, but I've been meaning to try a savoury version for years, and I finally got around to it. This green-olive-and-caper version is my favourite; the cakes come together as quickly as pancakes, but are much more satisfying. Add some chutney and a quick salad and they are a great easy dinner.




  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 leek, small, washed, or a bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
  • 200g of plain flour, or white spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g of unsalted butter, or vegan butter, chilled and diced
  • 50g of green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp of baby capers, drained
  • 1 bunch of dill, small, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley, small, leaves roughly chopped
  • 80g of cheddar, or vegan cheese, grated (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten, or 3 tbsp soy yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp of milk, either whole or plant-based


Heat the oil in a 25cm non-stick frying pan and add the leeks or spring onions along with a pinch of salt. Cook over a medium-low heat for 8 minutes until soft and translucent. Tip the spring onions or leeks into a mixing bowl. Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and remove from the heat
Sift the flour and bicarbonate into the bowl with the spring onions. Use your hands to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the olives, capers, herbs and (if using) cheese to the bowl. Season well with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Add an extra pinch of salt if you are leaving out the cheese
Stir in the egg or yoghurt and add a splash of milk, if needed, to form a dough - you want to be able to roll out the dough, or shape it with your hands, so don't let it get too sticky
Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll the dough out to 1.5cm thickness or use your hands to make golf-ball-sized rounds and press down. Use a 5cm round cutter to cut out 12 little circles, gathering the dough off-cuts back together until all the dough has been used up
Heat the frying pan over a low-medium heat and cook the Welsh cakes in the dry pan in batches of four. This should give you plenty of room to flip the cakes over and will ensure they cook evenly. Cook for 6-8 minutes each side, until deep golden but not burnt
Serve warm, with tomato chutney and some lemon-dressed leaves and a little more cheese if you like
First published in 2021

Anna Jones is a cook, writer and stylist, the voice of modern vegetarian cooking and the author of the bestselling A Modern Way to Eat, A Modern Way to Cook and The Modern Cook’s Year.

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