Welsh Cake Shortbread

Rich, buttery shortbread filled with mixed fruit and all the flavour of a Welsh cake. A great alternative to Welsh cakes if you don’t own a bakestone!

plate of welsh cake shortbread biscuits

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With St. David’s Day approaching, as a Welsh baker, I felt I should post a Welsh recipe for the occasion. So I developed these shortbread biscuits with the flavours of a Welsh cake!

I love making Welsh cakes at home but I wanted to create a recipe that anyone could make, without the need for a bakestone. The dough comes together quickly and only needs a short amount of chill time in the fridge before baking.

plate of Welsh cake shortbread biscuits

Key tips for perfect shortbread

  • I highly recommend chilling the dough as during testing the unchilled dough spread a lot in the oven and lost its fluted edges!
  • Be careful not to over-bake these! I learned from many different test batches there is a fine line between over-baked and under-baked shortbread. The over-baked biscuits were crumbly and dry, missing the melt-in-the-mouth texture.
  • I found that making sure they were exactly 1cm thick and cut using a 6cm fluted cutter, they baked well and resembled actual Welsh cakes, in both appearance and taste!
  • My most important piece of advice? Use the firmer, block butter and not spreadable butter! Unfortunately, if you use spreadable butter the dough is too soft. Not only is it then almost impossible to move your cut-outs onto your baking tray, but they also spread a lot in the oven.

(Spreadable butter, however, is crucial in my cookie recipes such as my chewy chocolate chip cookies and my strawberry white chocolate cookies!)

plate of Welsh cake shortbread biscuits

The Best Mixed Fruit Shortbread Recipe

Following this advice, you should end up with thick, buttery shortbread flavoured with mixed spice and full of mixed fruit. They would be fun to make with kids too as they’ll enjoy cutting the shapes!

My final addition to these shortbread Welsh cakes is a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. You could dust them with caster sugar if you’d prefer, but I am just a little obsessed with cinnamon sugar. It really finishes these off beautifully. The perfect blend of sugar and spice!

(If you love lemon as well as shortbread, you have to try my deliciously zingy Lemon Bars too!)

plate of Welsh cake shortbread biscuits

What baking tray is best for making shortbread?

I use a silicone baking tray for all my biscuits and cookies as they distribute heat more evenly. I personally use one almost identical to this one below:

Whether you’re looking for a St. David’s Day recipe, a different shortbread recipe or don’t know what Welsh cakes taste like and are intrigued, I hope you get the chance to try this recipe.

Enjoy! Or, mwynhewch!

If you try this recipe I’d love to see! You can show me by tagging me @bakerjoblog or using #bakerjoblog!

close up of the inside of a Welsh cake shortbread biscuit

Other biscuit and cookie recipes to try:

plate of welsh cake shortbread biscuits

Welsh Cake Shortbread

Rich, buttery shortbread filled with mixed fruit and all the flavour of a Welsh cake. A great alternative to Welsh cakes if you don’t have a bakestone!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Chilling time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Snack
Servings 22 biscuits



  • 250 g plain flour
  • 50 g cornflour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 210 g block butter cubed and softened slightly
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 50 g light brown sugar
  • 120 g dried mixed fruit

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 10 g caster sugar


  • Measure the plain flour, cornflour, mixed spice and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk until all combined and then set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl if using an electric hand whisk), beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed for a full 2 minutes. It will look smooth and slightly paler in colour.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the large bowl and beat on lowest setting until just combined – it’s very important not to over-mix here. Add the dried mixed fruit and again mix on lowest setting until just combined. 
  • Press the dough into a ball with your hands, and avoid overworking it. It will feel a little sticky due to the high butter content. Place the dough ball onto a piece of cling film, flatten it with your hands into a thick disc shape (easier to roll later), wrap tightly and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. If you skip this chilling stage the biscuits will spread and lose their shape in the oven. 
  • Preheat your oven to 160°/140° fan ready for when your dough has chilled for 1 hour (the timing of this obviously depends on how long your individual oven takes to preheat!)
  • Remove the dough from the fridge, cut off half a piece of the dough, and return the other half to the fridge to keep cold. I like to use a sheet of baking paper to roll my dough out to avoid it sticking to the counter top. Dust the baking paper, rolling pin and top of the dough with flour (again, due to the high butter content the dough tends to be a little sticky, especially as it gets warmer so the extra flour helps with this).
  • Roll the dough out until it is 1cm thick. I use a ruler here as the thickness makes a big difference. Too thin and you’ll over-bake them, too thick and they’ll be under-baked. 
  • Using a 6cm round fluted cutter, cut shapes and place them onto a baking tray, leaving around 2cm in between each biscuit. Make sure you press really hard for each shape to cut through any pieces of dried fruit. 
  • Press any leftover dough pieces together and re-roll to cut more shapes. In between bakes, try not to keep the unused dough out at room temperature. If you have more than one baking tray, place the cutouts onto the tray and place the tray in the fridge while waiting for the others to finish baking. It’s so important to keep the dough as cold as possible to prevent the biscuits from spreading in the oven!
  • Place the baking tray in the middle shelf of your preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. 
  • When baked, remove the tray from the oven and place it on your kitchen counter for 5 minutes as the biscuits will continue to bake on the tray. At this point sprinkle your cinnamon sugar/caster sugar on to the warm biscuits. After 5 minutes remove the biscuits and place on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Once cool place the biscuits in an airtight container to prevent them drying out. They should keep fresh for 4-5 days. 


If you’ve tried this recipe, tag @bakerjoblog on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter and/or use #bakerjoblog!
Keyword biscuits, shortbread, welsh cake


  1. Michele
    15th December 2020 / 3:30 pm

    What is in mixed spice

    • Jo
      15th December 2020 / 4:35 pm

      Hi Michele,

      Mixed spice typically contains spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and sometimes cloves.

  2. Lorraine Spencer
    20th October 2019 / 9:38 am

    5 stars
    I made these delicious shortbreads. Absolutely beautiful. I’m about to make another double batch. Many thanks for sharing.I will be gifting these little beauties to friends 😍♥️

    • Jo
      21st October 2019 / 4:33 pm

      Hi Lorraine, thank you so much for your feedback! I’m so thrilled you love this recipe 🙂

  3. Sarah L
    17th July 2019 / 5:15 pm

    5 stars
    Really delicious! I don’t make any other type of shortbread now. I’m making them for my daughter’s nursery teacher’s end of year gift!

    • Jo
      17th July 2019 / 5:17 pm

      Yay this has made me so happy! Thanks for your lovely feedback Sarah 🙂

      • 9th November 2020 / 3:52 pm

        Lovely recipe family enjoyed them so much they want more.
        Many thanks
        Anne x

        • Jo
          9th November 2020 / 4:53 pm

          Hi Anne,

          Yay, I’m so happy to hear! Thanks for trying the recipe 😊

          Jo x

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