Chelsea Buns Recipe

food from great britain
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 Updated 09/03/2017

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These buns were created by the Hands family and were sold at The Old Chelsea Bun House on Grosvenor Row, London. They probably date from the early 1700's. This recipe dates from the 1930s and does not contain any dried fruit. Mrs. Beeton's recipe for Chelsea Buns contains 1 tablespoon of currants to 4 cups flour. More modern recipes contain sultanas, currants and dried peel in varying quantities. In some cases walnuts or pecans are sprinkled on top of the buns.


  • 6 cups organic plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 level teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 cup caster/superfine sugar
  • 5 organic eggs
  • grated rind of 1 organic lemon
  • 3/4 pint tepid buttermilk
  • 20 sugar cubes
(see measure conversions for more information on quantites)


  1. Cream the yeast with 1 teaspoon of the caster/superfine sugar and add the tepid buttermilk.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large basin and rub in half of the butter.
  3. Add the lemon rind.
  4. Beat the eggs and add them to the buttermilk and yeast mixture.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid.
  6. Beat well with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed.
  7. Put the dough in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
  8. Turn the dough onto a floured board and roll out into a strip of about 1/4 inch thickness.
  9. Spread this with the other half of the butter and half of the caster/superfine sugar.
  10. Fold the dough into 3 and roll it out to a 1/4 inch thick strip again.
  11. Sprinkle on the remaining sugar and cut the strip of dough into half lengthways.
  12. Roll up each strip like a Swiss roll, not more than 1 1/4 inch diameter and then slice the rolls into slices of about 1 1/4 inch length.
  13. Place these slices at least 1 inch apart on a greased baking tray and stand aside in a warm place until the buns are doubled in size.
  14. Sprinkle crushed sugar lumps over the buns (so the sugar looks coarse).
  15. Bake at 190 degrees centigrade (see temperature conversions) for about 25 minutes.

Prep Time: 130 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8 - 12 buns


I'm a huge fan of Chelse buns. Haven't has a proper one for many years so I'm going to give these a go. I'm not great at baking but I'm determined to make there work!
#4 - Sarah - 03/09/2017 - 08:29
I absolutely love Chelsea buns kiss kiss kissxxx
#3 - Jade - 01/16/2013 - 10:11
If it has cinnamon it wouldn't BE a chelsea bun, it would be a cinnamon roll!!! And, I don't doubt for a moment that it is the ancestor of the cinnamon roll.
#2 - Didi McFoster - 06/17/2011 - 11:47
I find with all bread recipes that the addition of a teaspoon full of soya flour helps with the texture of the loaf/buns
#1 - Graham Sharp - 09/03/2010 - 10:05
I find it tastes better with cinnamon
#0 - Matthew - 06/23/2007 - 09:06
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