Abstract We continue the investigation of a recent proposal on alternative matching conditions for self-gravitating defects which generalize the standard matching conditions. The reasoning for this study is the need for consistency of the various codimension defects and the existence of a meaningful equation of motion at the probe limit, things that seem to lack from the standard approach. These matching conditions arise by varying the brane–bulk action with respect to the brane embedding fields (and not with respect to the bulk metric at the brane position) in a way that takes into account the gravitational back-reaction of the brane to the bulk. They always possess a Nambu–Goto probe limit and any codimension defect is seemingly consistent for any second order bulk gravity theory. Here, we consider in detail the case of a codimension-1 brane in five-dimensional Einstein gravity, derive the generic alternative junction conditions and find the Z2-symmetric braneworld cosmology, as well as its bulk extension. Compared to the standard braneworld cosmology, the new one has an extra integration constant which accounts for the today matter and dark energy contents, therefore, there is more freedom for accommodating the observed cosmic features. One branch of the solution possesses the asymptotic linearized LFRW regime. We have constrained the parameters so that to have a recent passage from a long deceleration era to a small today acceleration epoch and we have computed the age of the universe, consistent with current data, and the time-varying dark energy equation of state. For a range of the parameters it is possible for the presented cosmology to provide a large acceleration in the high energy regime.