Traditional Cornish Splits

Wednesday 17 June 2020

If I was a much better, more dedicated to my craft, you would never see photos like these. 

 I would take the time to pipe the cream into the buns so that everything looked all nice and pretty, setting the shot up perfectly with teapots and cups and tea clothes, etc.

That's not me.  I tend to just show you things as they are.  

Simple without too many frills and not overly fancied up. Not that there is anything wrong with fancying things up a bit. That's just not me.

Besides today, by the time I got these done, it was getting late, I was losing the light and to be honest I was beat, beat, beat.  

I actually started these about 6:30 this morning.  I had three other recipes to do for another site and so I had to fit them all in while I still had the light with me.

But you don't want to know about all of that . . .  you want to know about these tasty buns.  Cornish Splits.  

I am sure you have all heard of Cream Teas, or Cornish Teas/Devon Teas.

A delightful repast of  fresh scones served with butter, jam and clotted cream, washed down with cups of hot tea.  

Well, before they ever included scones,  these lovely light yeasted buns were the original stars of a Cream Tea.

I am not surprised.  Light as air, only slightly sweetened, like soft yeasted pillows of deliciousness.

Perfect for spreading with soft butter and jam, and topped with lashings of clotted cream. Just a slight dusting of icing sugar garnishing the tops.

I can well imagine how delightful they would be with hot cups of tea.  

We don't drink tea for religious reasons, and somehow,  I don't think herbal tea would be quite the same with these. 

These are such a simple make/bake. Seriously.  

One kneading and rising.  Shape into balls, a quick rise and then bake.

The rolls are lovely and light textured and I imagine very nice just on their own, split, toasted and spread with butter  . . . and maybe some jam . . .

Yes, I do love jam.

You can eat the while they are still slightly warm if you wish, in which case I think the butter would melt into the beautiful texture of those light airy buns  . . .

Mmmm . . .  warm bread and melted butter. Lush.

We enjoyed them cold, split and filled to the hilt with the strawberry jam and whipped cream.

We have not been able to get out shopping so there was no clotted cream.  

The whipped cream was very nice however.

The jam,  Bonne Maman  . . .  not having any homemade jam, I used the next best thing . . . . which is Bonne Maman . . .

Bonne Maman is a favourite of mine. Next best thing to homemade.

The French make beautiful jams . . .  and breads for that matter  . . .

Dusted with icing sugar, these were exquisite.

Traditional Cornish Splits

Traditional Cornish Splits
Yield: 8
Classically  Cornish teatime treats. Light and airy yeasted buns, served split, spread with butter and topped with lashings of jam and cream.  If you fill them with clotted cream and golden syrup, they become Thunder and Lightening, a real favourite with kiddies everywhere!


For the buns:
  • 305g strong bread flour (2 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 1/2 tsp easy yeast (bread machine yeast)
  • 1 TBS white sugar
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 300ml whole milk (1 1/4 cup)
To serve:
  • softened butter to spread
  • Softly whipped sweetened cream, or clotted cream
  • strawberry jam
  • icing sugar to dust


  1. Fit a stand mixer with a kneading hook.  Measure the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and sugar into the bowl of the stand mixer and mix to combine.
  2. Warm the milk in the microwave with the butter for about 30 seconds. Just long enough to melt the butter. You don't want any of it to be hot, just blood warm.
  3. Start drizzling the milk/butter mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer, with it turned on low, until it is all added and incorporated. Keep the motor running until you get a soft, slightly tacky dough. You may need to add a bit more flour. (Today I needed to add another 35g/1/4 cup).
  4. Tip into a greased bowl and cover with plastic cling film. Set aside to prove for an hour or so until it doubles in size.  Turn onto a lightly floured  board and divide into 8 equal pieces. (I shape it into a circle and cut it into 8 wedges.)  Shape each piece into a ball and place onto a large baking sheet you have lined with baking paper. Dust lightly with flour, cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.
  6. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for between 15 and 20 minutes until a pale golden brown. If you tip one over it should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. If not, return to the oven for a few more minutes.
  7. To serve. split almost all the way through on the diagonal.  Spread the bottoms with softened butter, top with plenty of strawberry jam and a nice thick dollop of whipped double cream or clotted cream. Dust the tops with some icing sugar and serve immediately.
  8. These can be served slightly warm or cold. Best served on the day.  Don't fill until you are ready to serve them.
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I sent half of these next door to my neighbour. She and her son have been ever so good to us throughout this pandemic, always picking up bread and milk, even if we have not asked for it, and she won't take any compensation for it.  I figure the least I can do is to bake them treats every now and then!  

Cornish Splits

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  1. Not perfect photos? They are perfectly mouthwatering! I want to lick the jam and cream squeezing out the edges. YUM.

    1. Thanks Kath! They are incredibly yummy for sure! xoxo

  2. I'm originally from Scotland and these remind me of my favourite cake from the baker (or from the baker's van that used to come around), we called them cream cookies. Just a sweet yeast bun, thick whipped dairy cream and icing sugar on the top - actually, they are probably the very same thing but without jam!

    1. They sound similar for sure Patricia. When I first moved over here I used to be able to buy these sweet buns at the local bakery filled with ice cold custard cream. Seriously tasty as well! xoxo

  3. I have never heard of these, nor Cornish Teas/Devon Teas/Cream Teas...but these look wonderful. How I wish I lived next door LOL! ~Robin~

    1. We love our cream teas over here and they are very popular with the tourists as well! Thank you Robin! xoxo

  4. Just a word from Cornwall. Jam on first followed by clotted cream on top of course, but NEVER butter!


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