25 September 2013

Cardamom, Honey and Pistachio Chelsea Buns

I love making bread and sweet doughs. 
These kind of enriched doughs flavoured with spices, rich butter and filled with dried fruits or nuts are so rewarding to make and fill the kitchen with an absolutely delicious smell!
Iced buns were always a favourite of mine as a child. 

However, recreating these sorts of doughs at home can prove to be fairly difficult- using the correct raising agents, kneading and proving the dough to achieve a soft and fluffy texture and then baking it to golden perfection!

At home, kneading was never my strong point - weak arm muscles meant a long kneading time and I could never achieve the silky smooth texture I was aiming for. 
Luckily at uni, I've been graced with the temporary use of my friend's mixer and dough hook- when time is an issue, that makes a big difference!
These chelsea buns are light in texture and flavoured with a warming cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon mix and then topped with a sweet honey glaze and crunchy pistachio nuts. 

These's a nordic bakery very close to my lecture buildings that I often escape to for a coffee in between tutorials. It's full of endless varieties of cardamom spiced breads and doughs with such interesting flavours. 

This recipe takes a little time but is definitely worth it!

Adapted from: http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/cardamom-scented-chelsea-buns


50g unsalted butter
450g strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1tsp crushed cardamom seeds
25g golden caster sugar
1 medium egg
225ml warm milk

For the filling:

50g butter
1tsp roughly crushed cardamom seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
50g soft light brown sugar
50g sultanas
50g currants

2tbsp clear honey
2tbsp roughly chopped shelled pistachios


Grease a deep 23cm cake tin. I used a circular tin to give the buns a rounded edge but you could also use a square 23cm tin. 

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the unsalted butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. 

Stir in the yeast. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg. Add this to the dry ingredients along with the warm milk. Mix to form a soft dough and then knead on a lightly floured surface for about 15 minutes until the dough is smooth, soft and elastic. I used a dough hook and mixer to knead my dough on a medium speed for about 8-10 minutes. 

Put the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1-2 hours until doubled in size. 

Once risen remove the cling film, and 'punch' the dough back down to 'knock back.'
Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a rectangle shape about 25cm by 35cm. 

Make the filling by mixing the butter, cinnamon and cardamom together to form a paste. In a separate bowl mix the soft brown sugar and dried fruit together. Using a palette knife, spread the spiced butter over the entire surface of the dough and then sprinkle over the sugar and fruit mixture. 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/ 180 fan. 

Roll the rectangle up like a swiss roll- make sure to roll it quite tightly and evenly. Then using a sharp knife cut the roll into 8 equal pieces/rounds.  Arrange these rounds in the tin, cut side down and then cover with lightly greased cling film and leave to rise again in a warm place for about 45 minutes. 

Once risen, remove the cling film and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with some runny honey and then sprinkle over some crushed pistachios. 

Cool in the tin for about 5-10 minutes and then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack. 

They're best pulled apart and eaten still slightly warm!

A great baking challenge and perfect if you're practising your skills for this week's theme on the Great British Bake Off!


  1. Gorgeous hunny! I never think I'm a big fan of buns until I make something like this and can't stop eating it! Looks delicious

    Caroline xx
    Cocktails and Caroline

  2. These look gorgeous. I'm afraid that I'm the same as you in that I always realise how weak my arms are when it comes to baking!

    Lucy x The New Northerner

  3. They look divine! I love the ingredients that you used, the go very well together. I love the swiss roll presentation aswell.

    Sofie x

  4. Wow I love these, Great British Bake Off is such a gem of a progamme, I love it, you should have a go on the showxx

  5. Oh my, these flavours sound AMAZING and it looks beautiful too!

  6. wooow! i love this, pistachio is the best! :)
    REAlity Bites ♥

  7. WOW Katie these beauties look ever so professional!!
    I could easily see myself nibbling my way through a whole plate load of these with my morning coffee
    x x x

  8. Love the addition of cardamom, these buns look delicious!

  9. These look beautiful!
    I'm obsessed with Chelsea Buns at the moment and I love this flavour combination xxx


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It's really appreciated and lovely to hear some feedback. Katie x