My first job in Ireland was in a small country bakery. Coming from a culinary background in Toronto, so many things in this small bakery were foreign to me.

I couldn't get over the fact that no one seemed to sweeten whipped cream around here, first of all. Unsweetened cream is something I still can't get behind, if we're being honest!

But there were other things which I wholeheartedly adopted into my life; these bakewell buns were one of them.

I don't know if these exist all throughout the country or if it's just a Tipperary thing, but these buns are a smart way of using leftover pastry scraps - which use a lot of butter and, if you can help it, should never be thrown out.

They consist of a shortcrust pastry bottom, a filling and are then topped with a Madeira sponge and baked to perfection.

I love them when they're fresh out of the oven; they are the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of tea.

I like using jam as a filling (I've used a wild blueberry jam here), but you can also use apples, berries, chocolate spread or caramel.

They will go stale, so you'd want to eat them on the same day they're baked or freeze them - they freeze quite well. I would gently warm them again once defrosted.

Jammy bakewell buns

These buns are bursting with sweet jam, making them an easy family favourite. / Janine Kennedy

Makes 12 buns


Chilled pie dough, ready to roll out (store-bought is fine)

185g softened butter

115g granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

3 eggs (room temperature)

160g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp whole milk

185g jam or alternative filling

Powdered sugar, for dusting


1 Preheat your oven to 160°C. Grease a muffin tin (I use cooking spray) and set aside.

2 Roll out your pie dough. Use a circular cookie cutter to cut out the dough. Line the bottoms of the muffin tin with the pie dough and set aside.

3 Using your stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Continue beating the mixture until pale, fluffy, light and increased in volume (about five minutes at medium speed).

4 Add the flour and baking powder. Mix slightly. Add the milk. Mix on high for 30 seconds to incorporate everything.

5 Spoon a heaping teaspoon of jam on each pie crust liner, then add two heaping tablespoons of Madeira batter on top of the jam.

6 Bake for about 30 minutes. They’re ready when a toothpick inserted into the sponge comes out clean.

7 Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar and try to eat the same day.

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