Autumn chelsea buns

There are few things lovelier than the aroma of these buns baking in the oven. Enjoy at breakfast or for afternoon tea. They freeze brilliantly, too – just defrost and warm gently or split and toast like hot cross buns.


450g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting

7g sachet quick yeast

50g light brown soft sugar

1 tbsp mixed spice

200ml whole milk

50g unsalted butter, melted

1 egg yolk

3 tbsp syrup from a jar of stem ginger



60g unsalted butter (30g melted, 30g softened), plus extra for greasing

2 small eating apples (worcester, royal gala or spartan, or use jazz or estivale later in the year), peeled, cored and diced

3 balls stem ginger, finely chopped

150g pitted dates, diced

1 tsp mixed spice

50g light brown soft sugar

1 egg white

2 tbsp golden icing sugar, for icing


1 Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and mixed spice in a big bowl. Warm the milk gently in a pan or in the microwave, then whisk with the butter, egg yolk and ginger syrup. Stir into the dry ingredients to make a soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic; return to the bowl, cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

2 Grease a 23cm x 33cm high-sided baking tray with butter. For the filling, stir together the melted butter, apples, stem ginger, dates, mixed spice and brown sugar.

3 When the dough has risen, tip onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a 40cm x 30cm rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough, then sprinkle over the filling evenly. Starting with one of the longer sides, roll the dough up tightly like a swiss roll. Lightly flour a knife, then cut the roll into 12 rounds; arrange in the baking tin, cut-side up. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.

4 Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. When ready to bake, whisk the egg white and brush over the tops of the buns. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and risen.

5 Leave to cool, then make the icing. Mix the golden icing sugar with a little water (and a splash of ginger syrup, if liked), then drizzle over the buns before serving.

This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Kitchen magazine. myWaitrose members can download the Waitrose Kitchen app edition for FREE. Find out more.

  • Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus rising
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes, plus rising time

Makes: 12

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 1,313kJ
Fat 9.3g
Saturated Fat 5.6g
Carbohydrate 51.1g
Sugars 22.9g
Protein 5.9g
Salt 0.1g
Fibre 1.8g

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3 stars

Average user rating Based on 23 ratings

This recipe was first published in Thu Aug 28 17:14:00 BST 2014.