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Saturday, 9 March 2013

Belgium Buns for Red Nose Day

If you ever find yourself singing "Five currant buns in a bakers shop" what is the mental image of those buns? I realised the other day that my mental image is probably a Belgium bun and at the same time I realised I had never attempted to make them. A quick search on the internet confirmed that they are indeed very much like a Chelsea buns but with icing and a cherry on top. As I am no stranger to making Chelsea buns, I concluded that Belgium buns would also be fairly straightforward so I gave it a go.

Often when I make Chelsea buns I make a plain sweet bread then use some of my Jammy Cow mincemeat within the whirl to add the fruity yumminess. The Belgium bun recipes, however, often seem to feature a smearing of something like Lemon Curd with a scattering of currants within the whirl. Well, I don't make fruit curds. Two reasons: 1) I can't grow citrus fruit in Milton Keynes, 2) the use of egg within curds only give a 6 week shelf-life. I do, however, have a variety of lemon-themed marmalade in my cupboard right now so I thought a smearing of Honey & Lemon Marmalade would do the job nicely.

Having successfully made a batch of these cheery buns it occurred to me that with their silly cherry topping, they would make the ideal bake for a Red Nose cake stall so thought I should share my recipe. With Red Nose day a week away, stock up on some bread flour and some glace cherries and get ready to bake.

Belgium Buns (makes 12)

100ml milk
1 egg
225g strong white flour
½  tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
55g butter, diced
1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
2-3 tbsp Lemon Marmalade (or curd)
A scattering of currants or other dried fruit
100g of icing sugar
12 glace cherries

Whisk together the milk and the egg and put into the bread machine pan. Put the flour on top to form a complete layer. Put the salt, sugar and butter into separate corners of the pan and the yeast in the centre. Set the machine for dough. Once the machine has finished, remove the dough from the pan and place on a floured surface. Knock back then roll out until about 1 cm thick. Smear the marmalade over the dough then scattered over the currants, leaving about 1cm around the edges. Start at one edge and roll up completely. Cut the roll into 12 equal slices and place each slice onto a well greased large baking sheet so that the swirl is horizontal. Cover and leave to double in size. Bake in a pre-heated over at 190°C, gas mark 5 for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from the tin onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. In the meantime, mix the icing sugar with a small amount of water to make a sloppy icing. Spoon icing onto the top of each bun and finish with a glace cherry in the centre. Leave in the air until the icing has crusted over.


  1. I'm sorry but I followed this recipe to the letter and just ended up with a big bread pan of glue

    1. I'm sorry to hear that. I have used this recipe several times and it has always worked for me so I don't really understand why it wouldn't have worked.