Iced Buns

If you watch Great British Bake-off at all, you’ve probably heard Paul Hollywood rave about how much he loves iced buns. I think at least one challenge in one of the seasons was for the contestants to put their own spin on iced buns. So it’s been on my list for awhile to try making them.

I followed his Iced Buns recipe posted on the Bakeoff site to a tee when it came to the bun itself. Where I deviated was in size, fillings and topping.

The buns themselves are quite easy to make. It’s a basic enriched (yeasted) dough that comes together in a standing mixer bowl using a dough hook. A little bit of elbow grease to knead until smooth and you’ve got yourself a sticky dough that will prove and rise a couple of times, and come out as a lovely soft, flaky bun with just a hint of sweetness from the sugar that is mixed in to the dough.

This is the first time I used a proving bag – got this one from The Prepared Pantry. It was, I confess, a little bit large for my needs, but I’d rather have one that’s too big than too small!

And it worked a treat – my dough proved to twice the size for both the first and second proves, which I thought was an auspicious sign. When mixing the ingredients, I tried to add the salt last so the yeast was already mixed in and the salt would hopefully not impede the rise I wanted from the yeast. And it all seemed to work on my first try.

This was before my second prove – with the buns shaped and pretty close to each other on the tray. This is also half the size of the buns that are called for in Paul’s recipe. And even then, they came out plenty big for an afternoon tea, for my tastes!

And this is the buns after they rose for the second time and just before going into the oven to bake. They were much closer to each other, and most of them ended up touching each other by the time they came out of the oven. This apparently is what you want with an iced bun.

Showing several attached below. They end up with the soft crumb exposed on the side when you pull them apart, kind of like a US hot dog bun.

One other thing to note – because I made these half-size, I baked them a couple of minutes less than the original recipe. And though they were absolutely perfectly baked, I think they may have come out just a tad dark on the outside. Next time I might have put tin foil over the top just to make sure they don’t brown too much.

Finally, I made some homemade lemon curd as one of my fillings – Meyer lemon curd to be exact – though still using my classic lemon curd recipe. I substituted small Meyer lemons instead of regular lemons, and the result was divine – a slightly sweeter version of lemon curd, almost a little bit of an orangey-lemony combination.

For half of my iced bun I combined a basic vanilla Chantilly cream with lemon curd; for the other half I used a raspberry jam with Chantilly cream. My topping for both was a thick powder sugar/milk mixture. Then small multi-colored nonpareils for the raspberry, and a little yellow food coloring mixed in with enough of the powder sugar icing to drizzle a little over the top of the lemon ones.

Now, on to the recipe!

Iced Buns

  • Servings: 12 buns
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 250 g strong white bread flour
  • 20 g caster or granulated sugar
  • 20 g butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 7 g sachet of instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 80 ml warm milk
  • 50 ml water
  • oil to coat the bowl and sheet for proving
  • Fruit fillings of choice – raspberry jam, lemon curd
  • For the Chantilly cream: 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar (or less or more to taste, doesn’t need to be overly sweet)
  • For icing: 1 c powder sugar
  • About 2 Tbsp. milk
  • Yellow food coloring gel for a dash of yellow icing on the lemon curd buns
  • Multi-color nonpareils to sprinkle on the icing of the raspberry jam bunx


To make the dough, place all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (including flour, sugar, yeast, salt – keeping the salt on the other side of the yeast).

Add the milk, beaten egg, softened butter and half of the water. Mix until the dough comes together, and then slowly add the rest of the water until you get a sticky dough. Mix on high for 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Use a dough scraper or spatula to put the dough in an oiled bowl. Leave it to prove for 45 minutes, until just doubled in size. Use a proving bag and set aside in a warm place.

After the first prove, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back. Knead for 2 minutes until smooth. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, then roll into balls and shape into even-sized fingers. Place the dough fingers in a line on an oiled baking sheet, leaving space between them so that they just touch each other (or very close to it) when they rise. Once again, place the tray in a proving bag and set aside in a warm place for another 30 minutes.

About halfway through the second prove make sure you preheat your oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit so it’s ready when the buns have proven, and they can go right into the oven.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

To make the Chantilly cream, whip up the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks. Then add the vanilla and granulated sugar, and whip until stiff peaks. It can now be put in a piping bag with a large star or round tip or set aside to spread on with a knife.

Mix up the icing with a spoon, adding the milk slowly so it is liquid enough to drizzle over the top, but not so thin that it all drips off. Take out a little of the icing to add yellow food coloring.

To assemble the iced buns, cut them in half lengthwise. Spread raspberry jam on the bottom half of half of them, lemon curd on the other half. Pipe Chantilly cream on all of them and put on the tops.

On the raspberry buns, drizzle the white powder sugar icing over the top and sprinkle multi-color nonpareils on the top. On the lemon curd buns, drizzle first white powder sugar icing, then a thin drizzle of lemon curd over the top. Serve with tea or coffee..

I may have overfilled my iced buns a little bit – they were a little messy to eat!

But to eat them the same day they were made, totally fresh and soft with the tart-creamy-sweet fillings and toppings – it really is hard to imagine anything nicer to have with tea.

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