Chelsea buns

Chelsea buns

Chelsea buns

Sat, Jan 4, 2020, 05:55

  • Makes: 9
  • Cooking Time: 20 mins
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Irish


  • 450g strong white flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 40g butter, cubed
  • 225ml milk
  • 7g dried yeast (fast acting)
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • For the filling
  • 50g butter, softened (or melted)
  • 50g demerara brown sugar
  • 50g sultanas
  • For the icing:
  • 150g icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, plus more if required


1 Place the flour and sugar in a large bowl.

2 Gently rub the cubed butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. 

3 Warm the milk gently until tepid. Check the temperature of the milk (don’t overheat the milk or it will kill the yeast), then add in the dried yeast. Allow the yeast to ferment for five minutes, creating frothy bubbles on the surface of the milk.

4 Make a well in the centre of the flour. Stir in the egg and yeasted milk to a raggy dough.

5 If kneading by hand turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes (if using a stand mixer, use a dough hook and knead on a slow speed for five-10 minutes). Once it has been adequately kneaded the dough will feel soft and springy with a smooth surface.

6 Place the smooth ball of dough in a large clean mixing bowl, cover with a cloth (or cling film) and place in a warm, draft free spot in your kitchen, to allow the dough to rise, which will take approximately two hours. Once it has doubled in size, punch the dough to release the air, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead again briefly.

7 Take the sweetened dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 30cm x 20cm rectangle. Spread softened butter over the rolled out dough.

8 Sprinkle the surface evenly with demerara sugar and sultanas.

9 Roll up in the style of a swiss roll.

10 Cut into nine-12 thick discs (nine will fit in a square tin, 12 in a rectangular tin). Transfer the buns into a lined baking tin, fitting them snugly together, but leaving one centimetre space between each. Leave them in a warm place to prove for 30 minutes after which time they will have increased in size.

11 Bake in an oven preheated to 200 degrees, fan, or equivalent, for 15- 20 minutes.

12 For the icing, gradually stir lemon juice into the icing sugar, until the icing is bright white with a pouring consistency (add extra lemon juice, or water if required). Allow the buns to cool slightly before drizzling with icing. Serve warm.

Brush the tops of the buns with apricot jam instead of the icing, or add jam to the filling.