Chelsea Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fruit filled Chelsea Buns are a delicious treat, especially when they’re still warm from the oven. Chelsea Buns are made with an enriched yeast dough enhanced with butter, eggs, sugar and milk to make them rich and pillowy soft. These sweet buns are traditionally filled with currants; however, this recipe adds additional fruitiness with cranberries and apricots along with the currants. After baking the buns are covered with a warm apricot glaze and orange icing.

This Chelsea Bun recipe is adapted from Paul Hollywood’s recipe that was shown on the Great British Baking Show Masterclass. I made only minor tweaks such as steaming the fruit, adapting the topping ingredients, and converting to American measurements. But if you’d like a more exact recipe I’ve also included Paul’s measurements in the list of ingredients.
Recipe type: Dessert | Sweet Buns | Fruit Filled Yeast Buns
Serves: 12 Rolls
About 1 tablespoon softened butter for preparing baking pan
  • 4 cups (500g) bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup (40g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) unsalted butter, softened but not melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon (7g) fast-acting instant yeast
  • 1¼ cups (300ml) warm whole milk (110 to 115 degrees)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (50g for both filling and greasing baking pan,) softened but not melted
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (75g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup (100g) dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup (100g) dried currants
  • ¾ cup (100g) dried apricots, cut into about ¼-inch pieces
  • About 2 tablespoons apricot jam or preserves
  • 1 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • Zest of about ½ orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • About 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  1. If Mixing Dough by Hand: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, butter, and egg. Add the yeast and about half of the warm milk. Stir with a wooden spoon to begin combining the mixture, then add the remaining milk. Stir until the mixture is well mixed and starts coming together as a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board; knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Tip: This is a soft dough and you don’t want to add any more flour than necessary.
  2. If Mixing dough by Electric Mixer: In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, salt, sugar, butter, and egg. Add the yeast and about half of the warm milk. Stir with a wooden spoon to begin combining the mixture, then add the remaining milk. Stir until the mixture is well mixed and starts coming together as a soft dough. Using the dough hook attachment with an electric mixer, beat on low speed to start forming the dough into a ball, then increase the speed to medium and beat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Tip to test when the dough is done: If kneading by hand the dough should become smooth and elastic and not sticky. If using an electric mixer, you should hear the dough make a slap-slap-slap sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. Also, test the dough by taking a bit of dough in your fingers and gently pulling it; the dough should stretch and become thin like a window pane of glass. If it just breaks apart when you pull, then continue to knead the dough, or continue to beat the dough with dough hook of electric mixer another 2 to 3 minutes or until it develops more strength and stretches as you test by pulling it again with your fingers.
  4. First Rise: Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with butter. Place dough in the greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a small kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let dough rise is a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  1. Prepare filling while dough is rising. Steam the dried fruit in a steamer over the top of a double boiler for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the steamer from the pan of water and set aside to drain and cool. Tip: Steaming the fruit it optional, I feel the softer steamed fruit is nicer to eat in these rolls than harder dried fruits. Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Place a steamer on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
  1. Prepare one 9x13x2 inch baking pan; grease the bottom and sides of the pan with about 1 tablespoon softened butter.
  2. Punch dough down then turn onto a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board; knead dough briefly, 4 to 5 times. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 21-inches by 10-inches.
  3. Spread 3 tablespoons of softened butter over the top of the dough. Spread the brown sugar evenly over the top to within 1 inch of the edges. Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the brown sugar, then scatter the steamed and drained fruit evenly over the top.
  4. Roll-up dough jelly-roll style, starting with a long side, rolling the dough quite tightly. Place the roll seam-side down, and gently roll the entire roll on the lightly floured board with the palm of your hands to even-out the roll to the same thickness. Using a sharp kitchen knife slice off the very ends of the roll where the ends are uneven (slice off about ½ inch, the ends can be discarded.)
  5. Slice the long dough roll into 12 equal pieces, and place the rolls cut side up evenly apart in the baking pan. Tip: Measure the length of the roll and use the back of a kitchen knife to mark the roll at the half-way point. Then mark each half into 6 pieces. After marking, use a sharp knife to slice the rolls all the way through.
  6. Second Rise: Cover pan and let rolls rise and spread out in a warm place, about 1 hour. Tip: The rolls should be about doubled in size, spread out with the sides touching, and look quite puffy. If the centers are popped up you can gently push the centers back down with your fingers.
  7. While the rolls are rising, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  8. Bake: Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rolls are a rich golden brown or the internal temperature reads 180 to 190 degrees F using an instant read thermometer to gauge the temperature. Remove rolls from oven. Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool slightly while preparing the icing.
  1. Heat apricot jam in a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the still warm rolls with the warmed jam.
  2. In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, orange zest, and enough orange juice to make a good spreading consistency. Spread the orange icing over the apricot jam on top of the still warm rolls.
  3. Chelsea Buns

    Chelsea Buns sliced and placed in buttered baking pan

  4. Chelsea Buns

    Chelsea Buns after first rise

  5. Chelsea Buns

    Chelsea Buns hot from the oven

  6. Chelsea Buns

    Chelsea Buns with apricot glaze

Recipe Notes
Pan: one 9x13x2 inch pan Pan Prep: buttered Oven Temp: 425° Storage: Cover and Cool Place or Room Temperature

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