Orange Chelsea Buns

Sticky, sweet swirls are the perfect sidekick for your morning cup of tea. # 116: Orange Currant Chelsea Buns

Chelsea buns have been on my to-bake list for YEARS. I wrote them down way back when they first made them on the Great British Bake Off. Procrastination got the better of me, and I kept pushing them down the list in favor of other yummy recipes. (Confession: recipes with chocolate will always get bumped up over non-chocolate recipes. No shame.)

These lil buns are originally from (you guessed it!) Chelsea, in London, England. They may look like a cinnamon roll, but there are distinct differences that keep them separate:

  • Spices: cinnamon rolls 100% require the use of cinnamon, where as a chelsea bun doesn’t need it
  • Fruit: most cinnamon rolls don’t have fruit, but a chelsea bun has an identity crisis if currants aren’t in the filling
  • Glaze: cinnamon rolls in the US are usually coated in a glaze so thick that it’s basically frosting; chelsea buns just have a thin drizzle of glaze that adds sweetness and shine

(For a true side-by-side comparison, read more here!)

Careful, you’re drooling on your keyboard.

Some of the spiced sugar in the filling melts down into a puddle at the bottom of the bun, giving it a delightful base. Gotta love a good swirl!

I used Paul Hollywood’s recipe so all the measurements were in weight instead of cups/tablespoons. Why didn’t we adopt that baking method here in the US? It’s so much more accurate. Plus, I’m just loving my lil orange scale!

For “strong white flour,” I used bread flour (higher protein content.)

I chose to knead this lump by hand for the fun of it. It’s amazing how this shaggy lump can transform into a smooth, elastic ball in less than five minutes. I generally use the heel of my hand to knead bread dough, pushing away from my body, and then picking it up to repeat the process again at a slightly different angle.


Much poof, so floof.

I switched out the dried fruit for the filling to match what I had on hand: orange zest, cinnamon, currants, brown sugar and butter. Who has dried apricots and sultanas on hand? Well, good for you.

My, that pizza looks weird.

I rolled it carefully to not squish it down too much. Might I suggest you use the sharpest knife you own to slice these rolls – it helps so much to not have to saw at them!

Leaving room for growth. They ideally should puff up and bake with their edges touching so you can pull them apart for soft sides.

Aww yeahh. I used a glass pan so I could check the bottom of the buns for level of done-ness. The tops just didn’t want to brown and I was worried that they’d overbake if I waited for the tops to turn golden.

Glaze, pull apart and chomp away. Happy munching!

Recipe by Paul Hollywood

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