Recipes,  Sweet

Jam Buns Recipe

I’ve got a bit a lot of a strawberry jam glut here. Imagine that! I ran out of jam jars and space to store them in, leaving me with the jam in the bottom of the pan. It’s my moral obligation to make sure that the jam doesn’t go to waste so it might as well go to waist.

Daft puns aside.

If you’re going to eat something with sugar in it, eat a bun, not a cupcake. Based on my own expert (cough) visual inspections, a bun is about half the size of a cupcake. Meaning they are easier to portion and just eat the one. Cupcakes are lovely but flipping huge and a bun is just the right size.

In Ireland cupcakes are relatively new addition to menus. I was brought up baking buns. We use bun cases (smaller than cupcake cases which are the same as muffin cases). We use bun tins to bake them in. So here’s to reviving the Irish tradition of baking buns with no icing on top. I don’t have the time for this kind of faff these days; unless a Fairy Godmother arrives, cleans my house from top to bottom, sorts all the odd socks, and takes the kids out for a walk in the beach. I can wish right?

The thing about jam buns is that they are the perfect for bringing into work for tea-break. They do, indeed, go grand with a cup of tea. I brought them into work today. Buns help the working day along quite nicely. They make cranky workmates smile every now and again. The cupcake Vs bun debate gets a good airing. We set the world to rights in the space of the time it takes to down a cuppa.

The jam bun mixture is based on a simple victoria sponge recipe and by gently folding in the jam at the last minute before baking you get a light pink colour and pops of strawberry here and there. As jam is high in sugar, don’t spoon the jam on top of the buns before baking as otherwise you’ll end up with a burnt mess on top of your buns. You’re aiming for a gentle golden crisp top with soft, moist (ooh-er), baked cake in the middle.

I’m off to make a cup of tea. Anybody want one?

Note: Before baking always make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature. If you keep your eggs in the fridge remove them at least an hour before baking. For the butter, remove at least 3 hours before baking.

[recipe][recipe title=”Jam Buns” servings=”24 portions” time=”45 minutes” difficulty=”easy”]


  • 150g Unsalted Butter
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Medium Free Range Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 150g Self Raising Flour
  • 3-4 Jam


Preheat your (fan) oven to 170 degrees Celcius. Set out your bun cases in a bun/cupcake tray. If you don’t have a tray they will bake grand in cases on a normal baking tray, although they will spread a bit wider.

In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating after each addition to make sure they are well combined. If the mixture starts to curdle, add a tablespoon of flour.

Add the flour and beat lightly until it becomes a pale, smooth mixture, then add the vanilla extract and beat once again for 30 seconds.

Put the spoons of jam in the middle of the bun mixture. Take a metal spoon and swirl the jam through the bun mixture. Spoon the bun batter into the bun cases, no need to smooth out the edges this will happen naturally during the baking process. Bake for 11 minutes until golden brown on top.[/recipe]

These buns will store in a sealed box in a cool dry spot in the house for up to 5 days. They also freeze extremely well in an insulated box for up to 2 months.

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • Sinead Ledwidge

    Great idea with the jam….now wondering why I never thought of it!!I’m with you on “the bun thing”In our house we called them buns or fairy cakes….conjures up a much prettier image than cupcakes ??

  • Martina Cooke.

    I always have a few jam buns in the freezer, they thaw in the lunch box in no time. Marmalade makes them into a great weekend breakfast treat.

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