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    Saffron Walnut and Raisin Tea Buns

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    Saffron Walnut and Raisin Tea Buns

    Made with a scone dough, these golden buns are flavoured with orange zest and studded with walnuts and raisins. Quick to prepare, they can also be made in a single round: just pat out the dough into 2 discs and mark each into eighths before baking.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 12 minutes
    • Total time: 42 minutes, plus cooling 45 minutes

    Makes: about 32


    • Large pinch of saffron (about 20 threads)
    • 750g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp caster sugar
    • 75g cold, unsalted butter, diced
    • 50g chopped walnuts
    • 100g raisins or sultanas
    • 50g chopped mixed peel
    • Finely grated zest of ½ orange
    • 1 medium egg
    • About 500ml buttermilk


    1. Preheat the oven to 230˚C, gas mark 8 and dust 2 baking trays liberally with flour. Put the saffron to soak in a splash of boiling water for 10 minutes, then crush with a spoon. Sieve the flour into a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips. Add the walnuts, the raisins or sultanas, the mixed peel and the orange zest.
    2. Lightly beat the egg with half the buttermilk and add to the flour. Add the saffron and its liquid. Work together lightly and quickly - it's good to start off the mixing with a palette knife then bring the dough together with your hands. Add as much of the remaining buttermilk as you need to make a very soft dough. The less you work the dough, the lighter the buns will be. Drop the dough onto a well-floured board, flour your hands and pat the dough out into a round about 2cm thick. Don't roll or knead it. Cut it into rounds with a 5cm-diameter pastry cutter. Gather up the scraps, press them together lightly and pat out to the same thickness as before. Cut as many rounds as the mixture will yield. Place on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until well risen and brown.

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    Serving tips

    Serve the buns warm, to be split and spread with clotted cream and maybe a lick of lemon or orange curd.


    Average user rating

    5 stars