Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chelsea Buns

I have tried several recipes for chelsea buns and find that this 'sponge and dough' method is the best by far. It produces nice and fluffy buns every time and the dough is a breeze to handle.

Chelsea Bun
I prefer the buns without icing but it seems to be a Kiwi thing to have white or pink icing. Make sure the buns double in size before baking or else it will be dense. I usually leave the dough in the fridge overnight so that the next morning I can proceed to the next step and have fresh sweet sticky buns in time for morning tea.

Sweet Sticky Buns

Makes 18 buns


250 ml water
2 eggs (105gm without egg shell)
1 Tbsp sugar
3½ Tbsp milk powder
250 gm bread flour
2½ tsp surebake yeast

½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp (50gm) butter
125 gm plain flour
145 gm bread flour

melted butter
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2-2½ cups raisins (soak with 1 Tbsp Rum)
2 Tbsp candied peel

1 Tbsp apricot jam
1-2 Tbsp water

Icing (optional)
1 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp hot water

Chelsea bun

1. Breadmaker setting : Dough

2. Place the 'sponge' ingredients into the bread pan and mix for 5 minutes until combined and leave to ferment for at least 45 minutes.

3. Add in the rest of the dough ingredients and continue on the dough cycle.

4. Cover the breadpan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight else leave in a warm place to rise until double in size (this will take about 1-2 hours or more).

5. Tip your dough out onto a floured surface. Stretch and push lightly with fingers into a 18" x 10" .

6. Brush the top lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle over with brown sugar and the rest of the 'filling'. Roll dough with the 18" facing you.

7. Cut into 1" slices and place on greased pan.

8. Cover and let rise at least until double. Be patient !

9. Bake at 190C for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with glazing while still hot.

10. Leave to cool and coat with icing.

This is a short 2 minute video on 'Making Chelsea Buns' with a rendition of The Turkish March by Mozart. Enjoy !

Tip :
1. For a taller bun, place the cut pieces closer together or even touching. This will force the buns to rise upwards instead of sideways.
2. If you prefer a round bun leave a wider space between each cut pieces.

Chelsea or cinnamon buns

Redneck's version of icing - 'Slap Dash'

Note : The chelsea buns freezes well. I had some leftover fruit mixed so sprinkled some on as well.

Recipe : Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads (adapted)


Little Corner of Mine said...

WOW, very nice, got video illustration some more. The buns really look soft and fluffy!

Sinner said...

Thanks for your compliment, Little Corner of Mine. I had great fun putting together that clip :)

Unknown said...


I was wondering about the surebake yeast. I live in the U.S and i was wondering what yeast product should i buy that is equivalent to surebake yeast brand.
im baking chelsea buns and i need your help.

Thank you..

Sinner said...

Hi saythong,

I have no idea what the equivalent to Surebake yeast is in US but do use the same amount of yeast stated even if using ordinary yeast.

Amy Goh said...


May I check if you have recipe on cinnamon rolls? Or should I just use this recipe and modify accordingly? Secondly, I will be hand kneading cos my bread machine is not too reliable.

Any way to enlighten me on the steps I need follow? Eg. how long should I be kneading?


Sinner said...

I believe chelsea buns and cinnamon rolls are similar. If you like cinnamon you can increase the quantity. I only add 1/2 tsp as we don't like a strong cinnamon taste.

I have never tried kneading bread by hand - too lazy ! But do knead until smooth.

Anonymous said...


Tried ur recipe 2day, it's definitely a keeper!
My Cinnamon buns turns out soft, fluffy & nicely brown. Only challenge is my lacked of skill in rolling up the dough tightly, hence some walnut kinda fall out when I cut them.

Any tips for me to improve on dat? TIA


Sinner said...

Hi Amy,
So glad you like the buns. I am sure by the time you make these 10x you will be a real pro with the rolling. Other than what I did on the video, am afraid there are no other tips ;)

Appreciate the feedback.

Amy Goh said...

No worries...was just hoping for short cuts. Just have to go by the practice makes perfect saying.

Will continue to try many of your good recipes! Thank you!

Unknown said...

Hi Sinner!

I am trying this recipe this weekend! So nervous as this is my second foray into bread and buns!

Just wanted to ask if this will still be soft after the first day or should I freeze any leftover buns straight away?

Thank you!

Sinner said...

Hi Rebecca,
I usually freeze my bread/buns straight away after everyone have their fill. That way it remains 'fresh' whenever you feel like eating sweet buns.

Don't be nervous. Good Luck !

Unknown said...

I have just finished baking a batch!

They are so soft and delicious!!!! And so many portions to freeze for breakfast on weekdays when I have no time to bake!

Thank you so much for posting this recipe up!

Sinner said...

Hurray! Congrats on your success.
Thanks for coming back and giving me an update else I would have been left wondering how you went.

Anonymous said...


Is it possible after step 7 ie cutting into 1" slices to leave all the slices in the pan overnight? Then, bake them in the morning? So tat I can bring freshly baked buns to work.

Anonymous said...


My yeast here doesn't have bread improver. Is it advisable to include bread improver? What is it for anyway?

Sinner said...

You can slice and leave overnight but you need to keep it in a cool place like the fridge so it does not overproof.

If you find your bread soft enough, then don't worry about bread improver.

Ramya Kiran said...

These buns look outrageous!! Top recipe on my bookmarked list.
Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe :)

Sinner said...

Hi Ramya,
Would love to hear your feedback after you try the buns :)

chuany said...

Hai Sinner

Today, i made this, not as good as yours, but it is very good for me ^^, thx alot for sharing, i will keep this recipe ^^ --> http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs498.snc3/27189_1376141720411_1137880303_1639131_5228322_n.jpg tx ^^

Sinner said...

Hi Chuany,

Your buns looks so soft. Great effort. Thanks for the feedback.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner,

I made the Chelsea buns on Sun, my fiancé and my future in-laws love them. They told me if I were to leave the icing out, it wouldn't be Chelsea bun. They told me it's an English thing to have the icing on top. The Chelsea bun is my future mum-in-law's favourite. She used to eat them in England, but she can't find them in Australia bakery shops. She was pleasantly surprised that I know how to make them and she said it tastes better than those she bought in the shops in England ! Even my neighbour said it was beautiful & he can't believe I made them. Thanks for your great recipe & the video clip was a great help too.

Mini Me

Sinner said...

Hi Mini Me,

Isn't it a great feeling when something you cook turns out great. It is not a difficult bun to make so can see you churning it out regularly impressing your future mum-in-law. lol

Really appreciate the feedback :). Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner,

Just thought I will show you a picture of my Chelsea buns ( http://fluffygirl-fluffy.blogspot.com/ ). I just started my blog, haven't got time to sort out the designs yet. My photograhy skills are very basic, just point and shoot, so please don't laugh...

Mini Me

Sinner said...

Hi Mini Me,

I am definitely not laughing. In fact I am most impressed. Such a lovely photo of the chelsea buns.

DessertDreamer said...

Hi, what a lovely recipe thank you!
Could you please tell me at which step I can refrigerate the buns? And do I need to wait for them to come to room temp before putting them into the oven in the morning? Much appreciated!
Casual baker :)

Unknown said...

UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE recipe!!! Tried this out and got what I call the 'Ronseal' experience (it does what it says on the tin) and this recipe does exactly that...very easily and simply delivers PHENOMENAL chelsea buns with fabulously light, fluffy texture and extraordinary flavours. I made just a few little tweaks to adjust for personal taste preferences and equipment differences but basically just followed the instructions and... hey presto, a fortnight's supply of scrumptious buns - they freeze fantastically well if you're careful about the process and again, it's just SO EASY!!! This recipe is DEFINTELY a keeper, and with your permission I'd love to share it (with my adjustments) and pass it on to friends and family. Many, Many thanks for posting this, albeit a few years ago now!!! RenaR

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