Teisen Lap

Makes 12 servings (serving a crowd?)

4 cups unsifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons nutmeg
8 oz butter
1 cup (½ lb) sugar
½ lb (3¼ cups) currants
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
a heaping Tablespoon or so of confectioners sugar


Preheat oven to 350° while you sift the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg together into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter. Stir in the sugar, and currants, then the beaten egg. Mix and add milk, whisking until smooth. Pour into a greased and floured 13x9" cake pan. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool, then dust with confectioners sugar before serving.


Our tiesen lap is very literally a ‘moist cake,’ but the native form is rarely so moist; it's more of a soda bread (Welsh soda bread, if you will) than a cake. Davies's recipe, for example, calls for a mere quarter cup of milk, and an extra 4 ounces of butter. You will want to use at least a half cup of milk even if you're trying to make a soda-bready teisen, otherwise the batter will be almost impossible to work with. And since the batter's so dry, you may also want to pre-soak the currants to soften them up before baking, lest they get caught in your diners' teeth.

The truly daring should roll out the batter and bake it on a planc, the better to impress the young lads who come calling...

First served: Beltain 1993
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Last modified: © December 1995