Recipe: St David's Day Welsh Onion Cake with Somerset Caerphilly

Welsh Onion Cake


Caerphilly cheese originates from the Welsh town of Caerphilly, it is a young, mild cheese with a fresh lactic tang and grassy notes.  It is a crumbly cheese, so leads itself to be used in much the same way as one would use feta.

Duckett's Caerphilly is made at Westcombe Dairy (along with their famous Cheddar) just 4 miles from Durslade Farm. The cheese is named after Chris Duckett, who brought his traditional artisan recipe for making it to Westcombe in the late 1990’s.

Welsh onion cake is an incredibly simple recipe, it uses layered onions, leeks and potatoes (and ample butter) to elevate the humble spud from side dish to main course.   A little crumbled Caerphilly in addition, lifts it even further.  A simply dressed green salad is all that’s needed for a very fine luncheon. 

Serves 6

  • 150g Butter
  • drizzle of rapeseed oil
  • 3 onions thinly sliced
  • 1 leek sliced into rounds
  • 1kg floury maincrop potatoes such as Maris Piper or Désirée, peeled and thinly sliced (use a mandolin ideally)
  • 200g Caerphilly cheese, crumbled (or another sharp, crumbly cheese)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt & pepper


  • In a large pan, heat a knob of the butter (about 50g) with a drizzle of oil. Once the butter is foaming, add the onions, leek, the thyme and a little salt and pepper.
  • Cook for a good 15/20 minutes until they are soft and sticky
  • Butter a 20cm cake tin (springform) or baking dish, you can also assemble in a oven proof frying pan.
  • Melt the rest of the butter and toss the potatoes through to coat, then layer in then cake tin (or other vessel of your choice).
  • Once you have a layer of potatoes alternate potato, then onion mix and crumbled Caerphilly over and over until you have used all of your ingredients, finish with a good layer of potatoes in concentric circles.
  • Press down a little to compact the ‘cake’ layers.
  • Bake at 180°C fan, covered with foil for 30 minutes and another 30 minutes uncovered until nice and golden brown.
  • You may find butter will leak from the cake tin so ideally put the cake tin inside a baking sheet or roasting tray to catch this, then use to baste during cooking.
  • Once cooked, allow to cool for 20/30 minutes before transferring to a board.

Serve & Enjoy! Why not pair with a refreshing glass of Wraxhall Sparkling Wine for the perfect night in? 

 Welsh Onion Cake with Caerphilly