British Recipes > Chelsea Buns

How to make Chelsea buns:
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 1930's 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)


- Cream the yeast with 1 teaspoon of the caster/superfine sugar and add the tepid buttermilk.
- Sift the flour and salt into a large basin and rub in half of the butter.
- Add the lemon rind.
- Beat the eggs and add them to the buttermilk and yeast mixture.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid.
- Beat well with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed.
- Put the dough in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
- Turn the dough onto a floured board and roll out into a strip of about 1/4 inch thickness.
- Spread this with the other half of the butter and half of the caster/superfine sugar.
- Fold the dough into 3 and roll it out to a 1/4 inch thick strip again.
- Sprinkle on the remaining sugar and cut the strip of dough into half lengthways.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sprinkle crushed sugar lumps over the buns (so the sugar looks coarse).
- Bake at 190 degrees centigrade (see temperature conversions) for about 25 minutes.