Spiced Chelsea Buns

Known in Britain (and around the world for that matter) as Chelsea Buns, these pastries are yeast based buns originating from England. Though similar in "design" as our traditional cinnamon buns, these are quite different. No thick frosting on these babies. Just an amazing sweet glaze of milk, honey and sugar. For the filling, traditional recipes tend to call for cinnamon, sugar and dried fruit. Other ones I have seen add more spices to the filling for even greater flavor. I combined the best of both worlds. This recipe has 2 types of raisins, cloves, and nutmeg in addition to the standby cinnamon and sugar.

According to historians, for almost a century, until its demise in 1839, the Chelsea Bun House in England was famous for its spicy, sugary buns which were aptly named Chelsea Buns. The precise location of the famous bakery is up for debate but many state Bunhouse Place, London, seems like a safe bet.

Another interesting note: the owners also claimed to have invented the hot cross bun, and one Good Friday tens of thousands of people, King George III included, thronged down Ebury Street, keen to be seen in the fashionable queue to buy sticky buns.

Thank you, England, for another great baking creation! For those who haven't tried a Chelsea Bun, you don't know what you are missing. So please, bake up a dozen and tell me what you think. I suspect these may quickly become your Sunday morning family favorite. Personally I enjoy them on any day that ends in "Y" .

Now onto the baking!

Though I initially intended to follow the Chelsea Bun recipe in The Great British Book of Baking, I wasn't keen on the dough directions. It lacked any steps to proof the yeast. As a result, I decided to revamp the recipe to ensure a well-risen dough. I also dramatically adjusted their filling ingredients too. I felt the addition of a few extra key spices would really kick these up a notch. Thankfully my intuition was bang on. Sugar and spice and everything nice, that is what these little Chelsea Buns are made of !


You can either knead the dough by hand or use your stand mixer equipped with a dough hook.
Once your dough has risen for 1 hour, you simply roll it out
and fill with spices, raisins, sugar and butter.

Spread the filling out leaving a 1 inch gap between filling and all edges

Roll up length-wise and pinch seam to seal long edge

Cut in 1 1/2 inch slices

Add buns to a greased baking pan and let rise , covered, 1/2 hr

They will puff up even more as they bake

Before you know it, you will have freshly baked spiced Chelsea Buns!

*source recipe (adapted) : Chelsea Buns, The Great British Book of Baking



175 ml milk (I used 2%)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons active dried yeast
50g unsalted butter
450g white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg at room temperature


50g unsalted butter, melted
75g dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoon fine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey


IN SMALL BOWL, microwave milk for 20 seconds or until lukewarm
ADD sugar and stir
ADD yeast, sprinkling on top of milk mixture
LET stand for 2 minutes. Then slowly whisk yeast into milk mixture
LET stand 5 minutes
IN SMALL BOWL, microwave butter until just melted
IN SEPARATE SMALL BOWL, gently whisk egg just until slightly blended
IN LARGE BOWL (or bowl of stand mixer), stir together flour and salt
MAKE well in middle of dry ingredients
ADD yeast mixture, butter and beaten egg
STIR for 2 minutes until a shaggy dough starts to form
KNEAD 10 minutes by hand on a floured surface or 4 minutes with stand mixer on MED speed
DOUGH will be somewhat soft but not sticky
COVER dough with dishtowel and let rest in warm area for 1 hour


IN SMALL SAUCEPAN, melt butter over low heat.
STIR in remaining filling ingredients until combined
Stir continuously for 2 minutes over med/low heat
REMOVE from heat and allow to come to room temperature

WHEN DOUGH HAS RISEN, punch down and move to a floured work surface
ROLL dough into large rectangle (approx 10 X 16 inches)
SMOOTH filling over rectangle leaving 1 inch gap between filling and edges
STARTING with long edge, roll up dough into a spiral
CUT into 1 1/2 inch rolls

SPRAY a large baking pan (I used my lasagna one) with baking oil
ARRANGE buns in pan (sides not touching)
COVER with dishtowel and let sit 1/2 hour

PREHEAT oven to 400F
WHILE BAKING, whisk together milk, sugar and honey.
MICROWAVE 20 seconds on HIGH power
STIR well

AFTER BUNS have baked 15 minutes, remove from oven, brush glaze over tops and return to oven for 5 minutes

REMOVE and let cool completely in pan set over a cooling rack


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  1. these look so good! i wonder how they would taste with dried cranberries!

  2. probably fantastic, Megan! Even dried cherries, dried blueberries, chopped dried apricots, currants, mixed peel.... all possibilities! It is always fun to switch things up and see what the end result is.

  3. OH MY YUM! These look fantastic! I seriously LOVE your blog! I am your newest follower and would love to have you come check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!

  4. Dear Linda, These would be a hit in my house..They look wonderful and perfect. Blessings, Catherine xo

  5. I admire people who can make their own cinnamon buns. I've always been a little intimidated to even try. They looks great! Thanks for sharing on A Well-Seasoned Life's Sweet Indulgences Sunday!

  6. congrats on the top 9 delicious looking chelsea buns

  7. Love! And love times 100 your instructions. Will be making very soon :)

  8. Happy you are enjoyed this recipe and very pleased it made foodbuzz's top 9 too :)

  9. Those sound even better than cinnamon buns and they look so soft and fluffy. Thanks so much for sharing this at Sweets for a Saturday.

  10. Wonderful information on these chelsea buns! Don't think I've ever tried one but I want to whip up a batch now. I know my family would love these. Thanks for sharing.


  11. My bread-savvy husband and I just made these and were not expecting them to be so delicious. I mean, amazing. The dough recipe is so chewy and gooey, and the filling is divine! I added some marzipan chunks to the filling which added some yumminess. These are way better than UK Chelsea buns which don't rise very much. One thing- the oven temp should be 200 C, not F (I noticed this when I converted it from F to C and it came out to be 90C which wouldn't boil water). This is going down as a favorite!

  12. @HoneyBadger, thank you so much for catching that temperature typo. I have updated it to 400F.
    So glad you enjoyed the recipe :)


Thank you for your comments!

Linda @ Lemon Drop