Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns

Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns packed full of plump vine fruit and spices.

These Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns really do take the humble, yet delicious Easter Bun to another level. As their spiced aroma escapes the kitchen, it fills the whole house with warmth. Turning a house into a welcoming home. While neighbours, out in their gardens, stop, wondering whose house the aromatic aroma originates from.

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns filled with more fruit and spice.

Easy to make and bake, these Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns are so worth the little effort required. These are not the small, pappy, squidged into a ball, cheap supermarket versions. Instead they are filled with fruit, in a good sized bun, that also contains a small amount of wholemeal flour. Indeed, one bun is a substantial breakfast.

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns deliciously good for you.

Since these buns are homemade, we know every ingredient they contain. Yet, what they don’t have is any artificial ingredients. Also they work out much cheaper to make, than bought ones. Plus, the extra smell when you split and toast them, is priceless!

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Anyone hungry?

The absolute thrill for me, when developing a new recipe, is my family’s reaction. Good or bad, I know it can be trusted. Words like “yummy”, “can I have another one please?” and “have you taken the photographs yet?” all feed into my sense of recipe security. As I’m going to be sharing the recipe with my readers, it needs to be robust and reliable. Hence only tried and tested recipes make their way on to this blog.

Recipe: Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns makes 12

  • 150ml Tap Water
  • 150ml Whole Milk – slightly warmed to body temperature
  • 2 Large Free Range Eggs
  • 10g Fast Action Dried Yeast – I use Allinson in the green pot or sachets
  • 1tbsp Honey
  • 450g/1lb Strong White Flour – I use Shipton Mill
  • 50g/2oz Strong Wholemeal Flour
  • 10g Salt – I use Maldon
  • 50g/2oz Unsalted Butter cut into small cubes
  • 200g/7oz Mixed Dried Fruits – Sultanas/Raisins/Currants
  • 4tsp Cinnamon
  • 1tsp Ginger
  • 50g/2oz Plain White Flour and 50mls Tap Water for the crosses.
  • For the glaze:
  • 3tbsp Runny Honey plus 1tsp water

Method:

First of all, grease a large baking tray with butter.

  • Into the bowl of a stand mixer add the water, milk, eggs, honey and yeast.
  • Next, on top of the liquids add the strong white and wholemeal flour.
  • Then add the salt and butter.
  • Fit the stand mixer with a dough hook and then lock the bowl into place.
  • Lower the dough hook and start mixing on a slow speed. Continue mixing at this speed for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes has elapsed gradually increase the mixer speed to moderately high. Again mix for a further 5 minutes, then stop the mixer and lift the dough hook.
  • Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it until you can see light through it. This is known as the windowpane test. If the dough tears continue mixing, checking every couple of minutes until it passes the windowpane test.
  • Once it has finished kneading, turn the speed on the mixer to low and add the spices and fruit. Mix for a further 2 minutes to incorporate the fruit and spices.
  • Following this, stop the mixer, raise the dough hook and scrape any dough into the bowl using your fingers.
  • Unlock the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and place somewhere draught free.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
The dough has more than doubled in size.

For detailed set by step photos please see Hot Cross Buns

  • Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, it will be quite sticky. Knead the dough lightly to form a ball and then weigh it. I place baking parchment on flat, digital scales. Note the weight and then divide it by 12, leaving the parchment on the scales.
  • Now cut the dough in half. As each bun is weighed this doesn’t have to be exact.
  • Follow by forming each dough half into a log shape. Cut each dough log into six.
  • Weigh the first piece of dough and adjust as necessary to obtain the correct weight.
  • Hold the dough in one hand while using the other to turn and tuck the underneath in, creating a tight ball shape. Place the ball on to the baking tray. Continue until all 12 balls have been made.
  • Cover the tray with a clean tea towel and place in a draught free place until doubled in size.
  • While the buns have their second prove, make the paste for the crosses. Place the flour and water into a bowl, mix until lump free. Spoon the white flour paste into a small piping bag, secure the top with a peg/rubber band and stand the bag in a glass until needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Before and after proving Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
  • Once doubled in size, snip off the very end of the piping bag.
  • Pipe straight lines of paste. First of all piping across the tray and then down the tray.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Pipe each separate row continuously for neat crosses.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes. When baked they will be golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove from the oven. Remove the buns from the tray on to a cooling rack, with a clean baking tray underneath.
  • Measure the honey and water into a small microwaveable bowl. Heat in the microwave until bubbling. Remove carefully as it will be hot.
  • Stir the honey and water to mix.
  • Use a pastry brush to cover each hot bun in honey.
FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Sticky, cooling, Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns.

Wait for the buns to cool before eating. Then serve as is or toasted and buttered with a big smile.

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns delicious fresh from the kitchen.

The buns will keep for 3 days if toasted. Also they freeze extremely well for up to one month.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns then you may also like these:

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

Chocolate Mini Egg Browies

FF Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

It would be very easy to double up on this recipe and share homemade Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns with friends, neighbours and family.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

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Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake

Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake a delightful fruit cake with fresh lemon and sherry. Perfect for any celebration, or afternoon tea.

It was our son’s 14th birthday yesterday. He loves everything about celebrating his birthday, from blowing up balloons, hanging fairy lights, presents, cards, seeing family. Yet the thing he most looks forward to is his birthday cake. Not being a huge fan of icing, yet loving Christmas cake, after much discussion he decided on this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake topped with crunchy whole almonds.

Since he would happily eat Christmas cake every single day, this seemed to be a good compromise. Rather than soaking the dried fruit in an alcoholic concoction, as is needed for Christmas cake, this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake is easily made in one day. Much as I love making Christmas cake, usually with our son’s help, having it throughout the year, would make it less of a special event.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake packed full of flavour and dried fruits.

Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake is a lighter fruit cake, filled with raisins, sultanas and in this recipe, glacé cherries. Recipes differ and I’m unsure as to how authentic their addition is. In our home their presence in any fruit cake is a must. Should you disagree, simply leave them out and add more dried fruit.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake perfect for any celebration.

The beauty of having a fruit cake without spices, is that the other flavours in the cake come through really well. On taking my first bite the freshness of the lemon added to the warmth of the sherry, creating a deliciously moist cake. While the cherries and fruit add to the overall flavour, the almonds, in contrast, provide a delightful crunchy topping. Resulting in a perfectly balanced cake, both in flavour and texture.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake perfect for those who don’t like icing on their cake.

One firework candle was lit in the centre of this cake, providing a spectacular display that had our son enthralled. Once cut, his pleasure was clear to see. While devouring his first slice he had a big smile on his face. Thoroughly pleased with this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake for his birthday, this was most definitely a hit.  Most importantly, our son thoroughly enjoyed his birthday, it was indeed a true celebration.

Recipe: Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake serves 10-12

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter plus 1tbsp – at room temperature

225g/8oz Soft Light Brown Sugar I use – Billington’s

1/4tsp Salt I use – Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract I use – Nielsen-Massey

4 Large Free Range Eggs

300g/11oz Plain White Flour

4tsp Baking Powder

100g/4oz Ground Almonds

225g/8oz Sultanas

200g/7oz Raisins

200g/7oz Glacé Cherries cut half of the cherries in half and leave the remaining whole

1 Whole Lemon – scrubbed with a nail brush under hot water

2-3tbsps Sherry – alternatively replace with full fat milk

75g/3oz Whole Blanched Almonds

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

A 20cm/8″ diameter 10cm/4″ deep round cake tin is needed for this bake. Grease the tin with butter and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment. The sides of the parchment should be above the top of the tin by 3-4 inches. Cut a spare circle of parchment that fits the base. This may be used later to stop the cake from browning too quickly on the top.

  • First sift the flour together with the baking powder into a spare bowl.
  • Next in a large bowl add the softened butter, sugar and salt. Whisk these together until they are pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of sifted flour. Whisk for 30 seconds until just incorporated.
  • Repeat this process, adding an egg and 1 tablespoon of flour, whisking to mix, until all the eggs have been added.
  • Now add the remaining flour and ground almonds. Then add the sultanas, raisins and glacé cherries.
  • Grate the zest of the lemon directly into the bowl and then add its juice.
  • Finally add 2 tablespoons of sherry, or milk and using a large spoon fold all the ingredients together, adding another tablespoon of sherry/milk if the batter is too thick.
  • Spoon the lemon/sherry flavoured cake batter into the parchment lined cake tin, smoothing the top so that it is flat.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with 3 rings of blanched almonds – see the photos for guidance. Tip – lay the almonds flat on to the cake batter surface. I pushed them in a little and a couple were enveloped by the cake batter whilst baking.
FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Making the cake batter, filling the tin and decorating with almonds.
  • Place an ovenproof dish of water on the shelf underneath the middle shelf in the oven. This should ensure a flat, even top as the cake bakes.
  • Next put your cake tin into the middle of the oven and bake for 2 – 3 hours.
  • Check the cake after 1.5 hours baking. If the top is already golden, then place the spare circle of baking parchment on top of the cake. Because the cake still has a while to bake, this should stop the top from burning.
  • Once 2 hours baking time has elapsed, check to see if the cake is baked by inserting a skewer. The cake is baked when the removed skewer is clean. Should it have cake batter on it, the cake is not fully baked and needs more time in the oven.
  • Continue checking the cake at 15 minute intervals. As soon as the skewer comes out clean the cake is fully baked and can be removed from the oven.
  • Place the cake tin on a trivet or cooling rack and allow the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  • Leaving the cake to cool overnight is ideal.
  • When the cake is completely cooled turn it out from the tin and then carefully remove the baking parchment from the base and the sides.
  • Since this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake is such a beautiful cake, placing it on a cake stand really does show it off.
FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake a beautifully baked fruit cake.

Serve the cake with a cup of tea, or a glass of something bubbly.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake each bite is a celebration of good home baking.

Homemade cake is far superior in both taste and texture when compared to mass produced, shop bought alternatives. Any celebration, whether a birthday, anniversary, or family get together, will be richly enhanced, with the addition of a home baked cake.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake then you may also like these:

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake made to see in the New Year.

Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake made to celebrate Father’s Day

Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake made to celebrate my love of carrot cake!

While I enjoy baking cakes, getting together with family and friends is always a celebration when cake is present. Catching up over a slice of cake and a cup of tea can turn any event into a celebration, even if it is simply sharing with a neighbour.

Most of all, my long held belief that food shared, not only tastes better, it also somehow enriches the experience of eating. As a result our lives are made richer, purely by eating with others. A simple concept that can easily be achieved.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

 

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Homemade Chelsea Buns

Hi, so it’s mid November and the excitement for Christmas in our house is definitely building. We all love Christmas, even though we still have our daughter’s and my birthday to celebrate in December, before Christmas. These amazing Homemade Chelsea Buns are perfect for baking any time of the year, but especially in the run up to Christmas. The scent of cinnamon and bread, filling the house as these buns bake in the oven.

I love the build up to Christmas. Stir up Sunday when we make our Christmas cake, advent calenders, present shopping, decorations. Spending time with friends and family, getting excited together.

Chelsea Buns easy to make and easier to eat! www.feastingisfun.com
Chelsea Buns easy to make and easier to eat! www.feastingisfun.com

As a family we all love each single thread that pulls together and makes a complete Christmas. The spicy scents, wafting from the kitchen, that evoke memories and shared experiences.

Our children (and their parents!) love these Chelsea Buns with a big mug of steaming coffee, or hot chocolate, for breakfast. Unravelling the light, spiced dough and uncovering juicy, plump, sweet, fruits. Sticky and sweet. Completely irresitable.

Chelsea Buns swirls of cinnamon, fruit and sugar in the fluffiest dough. www.feastingisfun.com
Chelsea Buns swirls of cinnamon, fruit and sugar in the fluffiest dough. www.feastingisfun.com

One of my favourite things to do at the weekend is to sneak downstairs, whilst everyone else is still asleep and make something scrumptious for breakfast.

Well that is exactly what I did a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t sleep, so I snuck into the kitchen, fuelled by hot cups of tea and baked these Homemade Chelsea Buns.

Ooh, everyone was so happy when they awoke to the scent of home cooking and found a big plate of warm buns, waiting to be devoured, on the table.

Unfortunately, due to the early morning light, the photos weren’t great. Shame eh? So I made these again during the day and they were gone by the following afternoon!! Happily I had snapped some photos, before they were all munched.

Chelsea Buns perfect for sharing. www.feastingisfun.com
Chelsea Buns perfect for sharing. www.feastingisfun.com

I wouldn’t want you to limit making these only over the festive season. They are however, a wonderful warm up to full on Christmas cooking and baking. Here’s how:

Recipe: Makes 12 Homemade Chelsea Buns

450g/1lb Strong Plain White Flour

3tsp Fast Action Dried Yeast

250ml/8fl oz Whole Milk – at room temperature

1 Large Egg – I use free range

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter

1/2tsp Salt

3tsp Caster Sugar

225g/8oz Dried Mixed Fruits – if you are not a fan of vine fruits, dried figs, dates, apricots and cranberries all work extremely well in this recipe.

100g/4oz Soft, Light Brown Sugar

2tsp Cinnamon

Method: You will need a buttered 10″ x 12″ baking tin at least 1.5″ deep.

In the bowl of a bread maker or a stand mixer, with a dough hook attached, add the milk, lightly beaten egg, 1/2tsp caster sugar and yeast.

Add the flour, salt and butter.

Switch the bread maker cycle to dough and press start.

With a stand mixer, lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are combined. Continue mixing for a further 5 minutes. Turn the mixer off. Place all the dough into the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave until doubled in size – approx. 1 hour.

Whilst the dough is proving mix the dried fruit, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set to one side.

Mix the dried fruit, sugar and cinnamon together.
Mix the dried fruit, sugar and cinnamon together.

When the bread maker has completed its dough cycle, restart for 2 minutes, to mix and knock back the dough.

With the stand mixer, once the dough has doubled in size, remove the cloth and mix with the dough hook attached for 2 minutes, again to knock back the dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle.

The rectangle should be 12″ x 9″ ( 30cm x 22.5cm)

Sprinkle over the fruit/sugar mixture.
Sprinkle over the fruit/sugar mixture.
Roll up the dough as tightly as possible.
Roll up the dough as tightly as possible.
Ensure the dough seam is underneath.
Ensure the dough seam is underneath.
Slice the rolled dough into 12 even portions.
Slice the rolled dough into 12 even portions.
Pack the Chelsea Buns into a buttered pan.
Pack the Chelsea Buns into a buttered pan.

Cover with a clean cloth, leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx. 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190C/175C fan, 10 minutes before the buns are ready.

Chubby, puffed up Chelsea Buns. Ready for the oven.
Chubby, puffed up Homemade Chelsea Buns. Ready for the oven.

Place the tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. The buns are cooked when they are golden and well risen.

Chelsea Buns fresh out of the oven. Breath in the delicious smell!
Chelsea Buns fresh out of the oven. Breath in the delicious smell!

Use a pallet knife to loosen the buns from the side of the tin.

Have a cooling rack handy. Place a baking sheet over the buns and invert. Place the cooling rack over the base of the buns on the baking sheet and invert again.

Ta dah – beautifully baked Homemade Chelsea Buns. Sprinkle over the rest of the caster sugar.

Chelsea Buns remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack.
Chelsea Buns remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Once the Chelsea Buns have cooled slightly, gently ease them apart.
Once the Chelsea Buns have cooled slightly, gently ease them apart.

Time to delve in and devour a bun. They are absolutely delicious warm. Whether it’s a family breakfast around the table, or after a long afternoon walk, these Homemade Chelsea Buns are perfect at any time!

Chelsea Buns perfect for breakfast www.feastingisfun.com
Chelsea Buns perfect for breakfast www.feastingisfun.com

Do you enjoy the build up to Christmas, or does it seem a daunting, impossible task?

How about baking a batch of these buns, sitting down with a pad, pen and cuppa and making a list of all that needs to be done. Don’t forget to delegate.

I learned the hard way, not delegating and ended up completely stressed out and unwell last Christmas. This year things are going to be very different. I’ve also found that family and friends enjoy helping out with the build up and on the main day itself.

If you enjoyed baking these Homemade Chelsea Buns, you may also like:

Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

FF Knotted Poppyseed Rolls
Knotted Poppyseed Rolls www.feastingisfun.com

English Muffins

FF English Muffins
English Muffins homemade and completely scrumptious www.feastingisfun.com

Sammie x

 

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