Devonshire Splits

Today, when a Cream Tea is offered, Devonshire Splits are often replaced by scones. Scones can be very good with clotted cream and jam but the true Cream Tea served to visitors in the first half of the twentieth century consisted of splits, cream and home-made jam. Children were sometimes given splits with cream and Golden Syrup, which were known as “thunder and lightning”. Splits should contain very little sugar and plenty of salt and are good hot for breakfast or filled with ham or cheese for a picnic.


  • 1 lb (½ kg) strong flour
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) castor sugar
  • cup (1.5 dl) lukewarm milk
  • teaspoons dried yeast
  • teaspoons salt
  • ¾ stick (90 g) butter


Mix 4 tablespoons of the flour with 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a large bowl. Mix the milk with 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water, stir in the yeast and when it has dissolved pour the mixture into the flour and sugar. Mix well, cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until frothy.

Mix together the remaining flour, sugar and the salt. Heat the butter so that it is just soft and beginning to run. When the yeast has frothed the liquid, stir in the flour and then mix in the butter well. Work the mixture into a dough with your hands until it leaves the bowl clean. Turn on to a floured board and knead until you have a smooth dough — this usually takes 3 to 4 minutes. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise until the dough has doubled in bulk.

Knead lightly again and divide into 14 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and put them well apart on greased and floured baking tins. Cover again and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Bake in the centre of a hot oven, 425°F (220°C, Gas Mark 7), for 20 minutes.