Who doesn’t love a bun? Iced buns, chelsea buns, buns of steel… So we decided to make some christmas ones because everything should be a better, christmassy version at this time of year.These are a festive take on the traditional chelsea bun, we’ve swapped the currants for dried cranberries and added some more spices and orange zest. As well as all that yumminess we even decided to use mulled wine instead of just boring old water to make our icing!


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This recipe is a really soft fluffy enriched dough for the bread. We chose to use the same recipe for our iced buns to make these buns rise up so they were all joined together – this way all the edges were soft rather than creating a harder crust. They’re sort of a chelsea bun meets a cinnamon bun meets an iced bun = christmas bun.

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Christmas Buns
Yields 9
Chelsea Bun meets Iced Bun
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
10 min
For the dough
  1. 500g strong white flour
  2. 50g caster sugar
  3. 40g butter
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 2 x 7g sachets instant yeast
  6. 2 tsp salt
  7. 150ml warm milk
  8. 140ml water
For the filling
  1. 150g very soft butter
  2. 100g brown sugar
  3. 100g dried cranberries
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 tsp allspice
  6. 1 tsp ground ginger
  7. zest of 1 orange
For the icing
  1. 200g icing sugar
  2. 3-5 tbsp mulled wine
For the dough
  1. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl, apart from about a quarter of the water.
  2. Stir the mixture with your hands or in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, then slowly add the remaining water to form a dough and knead in the bowl for 4 minutes.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 more minutes.
  4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for one hour.
  5. Flatten the dough out into a large rectangle using a rolling pin or your hands.
  6. Spread the butter out evenly across the dough, sprinkle over the brown sugar, spices, zest and dried cranberries.
  7. Roll the rectangle from the long side into a long sausage, trim the end and cut into 9 equal pieces.
  8. Place the 9 buns into a tin spaced evenly, cover with clingfilm and allow to prove for another 30mins to an hour, until they are touching each other.
  9. Bake in the oven at 220°C for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  10. Allow to cool slightly, for about 10 mins before adding the icing.
For the icing
  1. Mix together the icing sugar mulled wine until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Drizzle or brush the icing over the tops of your buns until they are well covered.
  1. Tip: We melted out butter in the microwave, for about 20 secs, before spreading over the dough. This way the butter isn't melted to a liquid but it's very very soft (just spread it over using your hands)
Baking a Mess https://www.bakingamess.co.uk/

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Chelsea bun are often seen with a decorative drizzle of icing across in nice white stripes but we prefer our icing brushed across the tops and into the swirl because it makes them so lovely and sticky! (also slightly messier to eat but thats all part of the fun)

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