I completely adore this modern spin on traditional Welsh cakes. Filled with homemade strawberry jam, my Jam Splits Welsh Cakes are the perfect little treat to enjoy with some afternoon tea. Just 16 minutes from prep to plate for the whole batch.
Why I Made This Recipe
Welsh cakes are an important part of the culinary history of Wales and a treat that I make every year for March 1st to commemorate St David’s Day. I am originally from Wales and love putting my own spin on traditional recipes and thought I would share my jam splits recipe with you. They are flaky, mouthwatering and just bring back so many memories of home. Did you know that miners used to carry Welsh cakes in their pockets when they were working to stop their hunger pangs? As an inexpensive cake with basic ingredients, they were popular with mining families and have remained well-loved in Welsh communities across the world ever since.
The History of Welsh Cakes
Welsh cakes are also known as pice bach, picau ar y maen, or bakestones and are usually cooked either on a griddle or bakestone (hence the name bakestone). It is thought that they originated in the 19th century and they have remained a staple in Welsh culture, with recipes being handed down through generations. Traditionally, Welsh cakes contain sultanas or raisins. They are so delicious when they are fresh off the griddle and dusted with sugar. Nowadays, it is common to see different flavours of Welsh cakes in the stores, such as cinnamon sugar, white chocolate and raspberry, and even savoury versions such as cheese and leek!. My favourite twist is to slice them in half and add a good dollop of homemade strawberry jam. So satisfying!
Ingredients and substitutions
To ensure that this recipe is dairy free, I am using plant based butter and milk in place of dairy. Check out my ingredient substitutions to see how you can swap out ingredients to suit your own dietary requirements. For a quick step by step video, check out my web story for jam splits.
I always weigh my ingredients rather than use cup measurements as this ensures accuracy for every recipe and perfect results every time. For those who prefer to measure by cups, I have added them to the recipe card based on my own conversions.
Self Raising Flour: I am using self raising flour in the jam splits as it helps to create a light texture. As the flour already contains baking powder, it will create some rise in our cakes when they bake. Check out my handy hack to learn how to make your own self raising flour. My recipe includes both gluten free and regular slef raising flour options: how to make self raising flour
Sugar: I’m using white sugar in the jam splits Welsh cakes. You could substitute with golden or light brown sugar for a more caramelly flavour. You can also substitute with cinnamon sugar to change the flavour profile. Once the jam splits are baked, toss them in white sugar.
Salt: Additional salt is also added to balance out the sugar and enhance the flavours.
Butter: I am using unsalted plant based room temperature butter to add fat to the cake. You can substitute with a light oil such as canola or coconut oil if you prefer or regular unsalted butter if you’re not dairy free.
Egg: eggs add richness and colour and are the main binding agent for this recipe. I usually use large eggs in my baking, which are equivalent to approximately 50g once removed from their shell. You can also use a medium egg in this recipe. If you are vegan, feel free to sub with your favourite egg substitute. 50 grams of apple sauce would work well in this recipe.
Plant Based Milk: My preference is to use almond milk in this recipe as the creaminess blends perfectly with the remaining ingredients and helps to elevate the overall flavour of the Welsh cakes. Feel free to sub with your preferred milk.
Strawberry Jam: I adore adding strawberry jam to my welsh cakes to give them a modern twist. You can substitute with any other type of jam or preserve and even add whipped cream if you’re feeling adventurous. You can find my easy 2-ingredient strawberry jam recipe here.
How to Make Jam Splits Welsh Cakes
Start by stirring the flour, sugar and salt together in a bowl then rubbing in the butter until it forms a breadcrumb texture. The purpose of rubbing in the butter is to ensure that no lumps remain and to create a lighter dough. You can make jam splits with a mixer but I prefer to make them by hand so that you can feel the consistency of the dough.
Next, we will add in our wet ingredients. Make a well in the centre of the bowl then add the plant based milk and egg. I usually start mixing it with a spatula and then finish working the dough with my hands.
Your hands will get messy in this process but once your dough starts to form, it will lose the stickiness and clean itself off of your hands.
Cutting the dough
To ensure that our jam splits are the same size, I like to use guide sticks to keep the rolling pin level. On a floured surface, knead your dough for a couple of turns and then roll out with your rolling pin. The guide sticks will prevent you from rolling the dough too thin. The paint stirrers that I am using here are 7mm or 1/4 inch thick and the best thing about them is that they are free from your hardware store (check out the paint section). You can read more about this method in my sugar cookie recipe or check out my jam splits bake along video in the recipe card for more details.
Cut out the jam splits with a 2.5 inch scalloped edge cutter. I think mini ones are really cute but traditionally, Welsh cakes are around 2.5 inches in size so we’ll stick to that size.
Baking the Jam Splits Welsh Cakes
My preference is to use an electric griddle to bake my jam splits but you can absolutely make them in a pan instead. Just ensure that your pan has a flat surface so that they will bake evenly. Once your griddle is warm, add the jam splits, making sure to not overcrowd the surface. This recipe makes 12 jam splits and you should be able to fit them all on the griddle at the same time. If you are using a pan, I recommend baking no more than 4 at a time. I tend to set my griddle to 325F. If the temperature is too hot, they will burn on the outside but still be raw in the middle so keep an eye on them.
Jam splits take roughly 3 minutes to bake on each side. Once the first side is lightly golden, flip them over with a spatula. A great tip is to look at the sides of the cakes. They are thoroughly baked once the sides are slightly firm and no longer translucent.
As soon as they come off the griddle, toss in white sugar. Let them cool for a few minutes and then slice them in half. I like to add a good dollop of strawberry jam on one half. Pop the other half on top and enjoy!
This recipe makes roughly 12 2.5 inch jam split Welsh cakes.
Each Welsh cake takes roughly 3 minutes per side to bake. The overall baking time for this batch will be dependent on the size of your griddle (or pan). The larger the cooking area, the quicker the batch will take to bake. I set my griddle to 325°F. If you are using a pan, keep an eye on them after a few minutes to avoid burning.
Jam splits will store for 2-3 days in an airtight container but I highly recommend eating them when they are still slightly warm. We usually polish them off on the same day.
Jam Splits Welsh Cakes
Let’s have a close-up look at these delicious morsels of Welshness. If you have never tried them before, I am sure you will love the ease of making them and how wonderful they taste. Best enjoyed warm with a nice cup of tea. I really hope this has inspired you to try this modern twist on traditional Welsh cakes. Mwynhau! (that’s ‘enjoy’ in Welsh)
Craving More British Treats?
Why not try some of these family favourites that I grew up eating in the UK:
- If you prefer traditional Welsh cakes, check out my Welsh Cakes recipe here (Dairy Free)
- Treat yourself with my mini Victoria Sponge Cakes (Dairy Free)
- My personal favourite: Cherry Bakewell Tarts (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)
Jam Splits Welsh Cakes
- Scalloped Circle Cutter 2.5 inches
- Bowl For sugar dusting
- 225 grams Self Raising Flour (2 US Cups)
- 100 grams Plant Based Butter (unsalted) (7 tbsp – at room temperature)
- 50 grams White Sugar (1/4 US Cup)
- 2 tbsp Plant Based Milk (30 ml)
- 1 Egg (large – see note)
- pinch Salt
- Strawberry Jam
- Extra flour for dusting your surface
- Extra sugar for dusting the welsh cakes
- To your mixing bowl, add salt, self raising flour, sugar and butter.
- Stir with a spatula then mix with your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs. There should be no lumps of butter remaining.
- Make a well in the centre and add in the milk and egg. Stir with a spatula until combined. Continue to mix with your hands until a dough forms. The dough is ready when it stops sticking to the bowl.
- Flour your work surface and knead your dough on it to ensure everything is incorporated.
- Using a rolling pin and guide sticks, roll out your dough. Add flour if it becomes too sticky.
- Cut out the Welsh cakes and set aside on parchment paper. Continue rolling and cutting until all of the dough has been used.
- Bake on a griddle for 3-4 minutes per side. The sides of the Welsh cakes will firm up as they bake and become less translucent.
- Immediately toss in sugar then set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Slice in half and spread on a good dollop of strawberry jam to one half.
- Place the other half on top and enjoy!
- This recipe makes roughly 12 2.5 inch jam split Welsh cakes.
- I usually use large eggs in my baking, which are equivalent to approximately 50g once removed from their shell. You can also use a medium egg in this recipe. Sub with 50 g apple sauce for an egg free option.
- Each Welsh cake takes roughly 3 minutes per side to bake. The overall baking time for this batch will be dependent on the size of your griddle (or pan). The larger the cooking area, the quicker the batch will take to bake. I set my griddle to 325°F. If you are using a pan, keep an eye on them after a few minutes to avoid burning.
- Best enjoyed as soon as they are filled. See the full recipe post for other flavour ideas.
- Store in an airtight container for 3 days at room temperature.