Welsh Cheese Cakes

welsh cheesecakes-2

When the theme “Sweet as Pie” was announced for this months Sweet Adventures Blog Hop hosted by KC of the Capers of a Kitchen Crusader… apple pie came to mind. Warm apple pie with a dollop of fresh cream… delicious!  But after giving the theme some more thought I started thinking back to my school days… my favourite subject… home economics.

I remembered these  “little jam pie cakes” baked during one of the cooking lessons but I couldn’t remember what they were actual called. They were a cross between a pie and a cake with a jam filling.  But I do remember that I loved baking them and did so on many occasions during those years.

Update: 2015 🙂 Happy to announce that my sweet as pie Welsh cheese cake photograph is published in the new edition of Essentials of Living text book for Irish Students.

Not so long ago I acquired two old Irish cookery books called   “All In The Cooking” from my mother (no way were these gems going in the bin)  which Mum had used during her teacher training days at college. The cookery books were official text books compiled for students and classes of Domestic Science in Ireland and printed during the 1940’s and 50’s.  Flicking through the old yellowed pages and scouring over the recipes, came across what I was looking for… these little jam pie cakes were called “Welsh Cheese Cakes.” Maybe our domestic science teacher called them something different. Why they are called cheesecakes… I have no idea and there is no cheese in them either!  But the theme for the blog hop is pies… pastry on the bottom and pastry on the top… well these Welsh Cheese Cakes fit the bill.

This is the first time I have baked this old school recipe for my family and once the camera was set aside (although I got the first bite), the cakes were eaten and the family  statement was “why have you never made these before”… home baking at its best!

Some notes: As I used a 12 hole patty tin more pastry was required, the pastry weight stated in the orignal recipe seemed on the low side anyway! Rolling the pastry into 1/4 inch thickness was a bit on the chunky side for me so I went for about 1/8 inch thickness, a little more delicate! Using a home-made sweetened short crust pastry was also a preference, but when buying  short crust pastry from the supermarkets I choose pastry made with butter!

When making the cake filling I used the all- in- one method of cake mixing for this recipe, which is quicker, rather than the creaming method. The cake filling was soft enough when mixed so I omitted the milk and used vanilla extract for the flavouring.

Welsh Cheesecakes

Welsh Cheesecakes

Welsh Cheese Cakes

 (Adapted from the All In The Cooking, see below for original recipe)


  • 200g short crust pastry (home-made or bought)
  • 2 tablespoons of blackcurrant jam

for the cake filling

  • 50g butter, softened
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 75g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
Useful Kitchen Jewellery:
  • 12 hole patty tin
  • rolling-pin
  • pastry cutter
  • electric beater
  • kitchen weighing scales

How to make:

Pre-heat the oven to 350°C/180°F/160°C Fan/Gas 4.

On a lightly floured work-surface roll out the pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 12 rounds using a 3-inch round fluted pastry cutter and line the un-greased patty tin with the pastry. Re-roll the scrapes of pastry out into 1/8 inch thickness and cut pastry into thin match-like strips, you will need 2 strips per cake.

Place a 1/2 teaspoon of jam into the middle of each pastry round. Place patty tin into the fridge (especially if the kitchen is very warm) while making the filling.

Put the butter into a medium mixing bowl and sieve in the castor sugar, flour and baking powder. Next add in the vanilla extract and egg.

Beat all the ingredients together using an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until mixture is smooth and lighter in colour.

Place 1 heaped teaspoon of cake mixture over the jam, then cross two strips of pastry over the top of the cake mixture.

Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden. Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Dust over some icing sugar before serving, if using.

Original Recipe from All In The Cooking 

This post has been part of the “Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, click here to see all the other “Sweet as Pie” entries!


  1. I love old cookbooks! Feel like I may have already told you this but my husband got me the very first edition of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book (printed in 1950) and reading it is like stepping back in time. Now I’m off to the kitchen to see if I can come up with a pie creation myself before the hop ends! Yours look very tempting!

    • Moya says:

      So glad that I came across this old recipe once again, everyone in the family gave them the thumbs up! What a wonderful husband and I think he deserves some delicious pie… so get cracking Amy and look forward to your post! 🙂

  2. Noor says:

    Old recipes are my favorite and these Welsh Cheese Cakes look really homely! Does the pastry crisp up or is it quite soft when baked?

    • Moya says:

      Yes Noor, very homely! The pastry base does crisp up when baked. If you make the pastry base any thicker than 1/8 inch the pastry may not cook all the way through and not crisp up as a result! 🙂

  3. Isn’t it funny about recipe names sometimes? I made a sponge cake today called Pinch of Salt Sponge Cake but there is no salt in the recipe, either! lol.

    Regardless of this minor technicality, your little pies look delightful 🙂

    • Moya says:

      Yes I have wondered how some recipes get their names and doing a google search does not always give the answers! So no salt and no cheese… someone must know the why! 🙂

  4. Casey Wyatt says:

    These look fantastic!! I love vintage recipes too (actually I like to read recipes for fun!). Funny about the name. It’s kind of like Welsh Rabbit – isn’t that made with cheese, not meat?

    Thanks for the recipe Moya! And the awesome photos!

    • Moya says:

      Thanks Casey, yes names can be quite a mystery sometimes! Welsh Rabbit or Rarebit has cheese and other ingredients added, but no meat! What about cookies called snickerdoodles! 🙂

    • Moya says:

      Thanks Nic, will be baking some more Welsh Cheese Cakes today! I enjoy being part of the blog hop! 🙂

    • Moya says:

      I am hoping that someone can shed light on that subject, I did a google search, but no luck! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

    • Moya says:

      The combination of cake and pastry is quite light and not heavy as you might expect and it is quite a delicious combination! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  5. These look lovely! I will have to try to make a vegan version of them as they look quite simple and really special. Maybe the English just named things “Welsh” when they weren’t really what they said they were because they were poking fun at the Welsh, as they are wont to do. Similar to Welsh Rarebit – i.e. cheese on toast 🙂

    • Moya says:

      Who knows how some of these names come about, but I am sure someone has the answer! A vegan version sounds interesting! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    • Moya says:

      Old fashioned recipes are great and will post some other recipes at a later date! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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  7. Orla says:

    ooh I love these! always wondered why they were called ‘cheese cakes’ too.. my mother makes them and they’re soo good! 🙂

    • Su says:

      Oh my God!! I made these from a Woman’s weekly when I was like 12 and have craved them recently. I googled ” sponge cake jam and shortcrust pastry” and got this page. Thank you soooo much for the recipe and the name. This made my day.

  8. Here in NZ they were/are known just as Cheesecakes. My maternal Grandmother, Nana, used to make them using plum jam she’d made from her home grown plums. These little wee cakes are such a happy memory!

  9. Theresa says:

    I am so thrilled to find the recipe for these here!! I’ve been looking for how to make these for ages. My aunt used to make them for me all the time when I was in Ireland. I watched her make them once and tried to write down all the ingredients but didn’t get all the measurements correct. I love these little jam cakes and have missed them greatly. Thank you so much for posting the recipe! This appears to be just what my auntie used to make.

  10. Kevin says:

    My mother used to make these when I was growing up in Dublin. They were the first sort of “cheesecake” I was ever exposed to. I don’t remember ever referring to them as Welsh but it was 40 years ago so maybe we did. Thanks very much for posting the recipe.

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  12. Gemma says:

    Wow! My (Welsh) Nan used to make these when I was little! She always called them ‘Maids of Honour’ but no idea why, never heard of the name Welsh Cheesecakes! Haven’t had them in years so am going to make some very soon, thanks for the reminder.

    • You do wonder how these little cakes got their names! Maybe the mystery surrounding the name makes them even more special. Hope you enjoy making them and thank you for letting me know that your Nan called them “Maids of Honor” 🙂

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  14. Emma says:

    I just made these tonight. My mum is welsh and we often had these growing up. My mum always used puff pastry and I did with mine too. I’ve eaten three tonight and have to stop myself from eating any more haha

    • I have never tried welsh cheese cakes with puff pastry, I might try this at some point. Very moorish little cakes and good that you could stop at three. Thank you for visiting.:)

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