Chelsea buns are soft, spiced rolls with butter, raisins, and currants rolled into the middle, then brushed with a sweet and sticky glaze. They’re incredibly delicious, especially with a cup of tea!

If you’re into British baking, you’re going to absolutely love this Chelsea buns recipe. 

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It’s especially easy to make if you use a bread machine or a stand mixer, but making it by hand doesn’t require a ton of work, either.

Is a Chelsea bun the same as a cinnamon roll?

No, Chelsea buns and cinnamon rolls are not the same, don’t let anyone mislead you. While they are similar, these are all the differences between a Chelsea bun and a cinnamon roll.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 8 oz (225 ml) milk (buttermilk can be used)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 4.5 cups (500 g) bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 oz (50 g) good quality butter, softened
  • 1 tsp dry yeast (rapid-rise or normal)

Filling

  • 1 oz (25 g) melted butter
  • 1/2 c (100 g) golden raisins (Sultanas)
  • 1/2 c (100 g) raisins
  • 1/4 c (50 g) Zante currants
  • 2 Tbsp soft, light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 4 Tbsp water

Instructions

Oven temperature 400ºF (200ºC)

Make the Dough

Please choose the directions below depending on if you want to use a bread machine, stand mixer, or make the dough by hand.

– In a Bread Machine

  1. Put the milk and egg into the bread machine container, then add the flour, salt, sugar and butter.
  2. Make a well on top and place the yeast in it. Set the machine for the “dough” cycle.
  3. When finished allow rising to be double the size of the dough when it finished the cycle. Skip to the Make the Filling step below.

– In a Stand Mixer

  1. Add the yeast to the milk, and let stand for a few minutes. Stir in the egg.
  2. Put the flour, salt, sugar and butter in the mixing bowl, then add the liquid. Using a dough hook, turn on the mixer until a smooth dough is formed. 
  3. Cover and allow to double in size (at room temperature, or in a barely warm oven). Skip to the Make the Filling step below.

– By Hand

  1. Follow the directions for the Stand Mixer above, but mix all the ingredients together using a Danish dough whisk or spatula, until it forms a sticky dough.
  2. Place onto floured board or counter, and knead until a smooth dough is formed.
  3. Put into a floured bowl, cover, and allow to rise at room temperature or in a slightly warm oven until doubled in size.

Make the Filling

  1. While the dough is rising, all of the ingredients for the filling, except for the butter, into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.

Roll Out the Dough and Fill the Chelsea Buns

  1. Knead the dough gently, then roll out into a 12″ by  18″ rectangle. Brush with the melted butter.
  2. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the buttered dough.
  3. Start rolling up the dough from the longest end.
  4. When the entire dough is rolled, put the seam side down and cut into 9 equal slices with a sharp knife.
  5. Place each slice into a 9″ (23 cm) greased, square baking pan. 

Proof and Bake the Buns

  1. Don’t let the buns overproof or they won’t turn out well. In the pan, they will look like this when they are ready to bake.
  1. Gently place into the middle of a preheated oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.

Make the Glaze 

  1. After you remove the pan from the oven, make the glaze.
  2. Simmer the sugar and water for about 2 minutes. If you simmer it longer, it will be too sticky.

Glaze the Chelsea Buns and Serve

  1. While the buns are still hot, glaze generously with a pastry brush while still in the pan. Allow to cool until just warm.
  2. Turn out onto a board, and serve.

Notes

Don’t overproof the dough either time or the buns won’t taste or look as they should. Keep an eye on that dough 🙂

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