A classic British sweet bun, with lemon curd and sultanas (or raisins), rolled in a sweet dough and topped with icing and a cherry!
I first discovered Belgian Buns when searching for a way to use up some left-over lemon curd. Since I love to bake with yeast, it was a perfect choice. And they were fabulous!
The combination of lemon curd and sultanas may seem a little unusual, but darned if it doesn’t work well! With the topping of glaze and the cherry on top, Belgian Buns are the sort of sweet treat that can’t help but feel special.
Despite the name, Belgian buns have pretty much nothing to do with Belgium. Some suggest they somewhat resemble the Belgian treat Couque Suisse.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Lemon Curd – you can use store-bought lemon curd or if you’d like to make your own, I have a great, easy Lemon Curd recipe.
Sultanas – sultanas are a type of raisin that you’ll find clearly labelled as Sultanas. If you don’t have Sultanas, you can use Thompson raisins, though I might plump them in hot water. Sultanas are a little more plump out of the bag, so I don’t usually plump them unless they don’t look fresh, in which case they might benefit from plumping, as well.
Glacé Cherries – these are the candied cherries that you’ll usually find in plastic containers in the baking aisle. In place of glacé cherries, you could use jarred maraschino cherries.
- Prepare the dough. It will be quite moist.
- Remove to a work surface and knead, adding a bit more flour if dough is sticking to your hands or the work surface. Form into a ball, place into a greased bowl and set to rise until doubled.
- Roll dough into rectangle.
- Spread lemon curd overtop.
- Sprinkle with raisins.
- Roll up from the short end into a log and pinch the seams together. Slice the log into 6 even slices, place on a baking sheet, cover and allow to rise again. Bake, cool and glaze .
As noted above, the dough is quite moist after being mixed. I find it easier to move to the counter at that point, kneading in a bit more flour if the dough is sticking to my hands or the counter, just until it is no longer sticky.
Belgian Buns will freeze, though the glaze may become a little moist from the freeze/thaw process. I wouldn’t suggest freezing glazed unless you’re just trying to preserve some left-overs. You could freeze well un-glazed, then thaw and glaze at some later time, without issue.
You can double the recipe if you’d like more. Keep in mind that these are probably best enjoyed within 24 hours of making.
Get the Recipe: Belgian Buns
- 1/2 cup milk, warmed to lukewarm
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Instant yeast
- 2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1/2 large egg, lightly beaten *See Note 1 below
- 1 3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons (225 g) all purpose flour, spooned and levelled
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 4 Tablespoons (57 g) salted butter, at room temperature
- 4-5 Tablespoons lemon curd (
Recipe Here), or store bought lemon curd *See Note 2 below
- 1/3 cup (60 g) sultanas (raisins)
- 1 1/3 cups (150 g) icing/confectioners' sugar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- hot water, as needed, to thin
- 3 glacé cherries, halved *See Note 3 below
Make the dough:
- Add the lukewarm milk, yeast and sugar to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the kneading hook. Allow to rest 5 minutes, then stir in the egg. Add the flour and salt and knead in. Add the butter pieces and knead in for 4 to 5 minutes, adding a bit more flour if the dough seems really sticky. The finished dough should be quite moist, but should wrap the kneading hook and clean the bowl.
- Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead another minute. Form into a ball, then place into a greased bowl and cover. Leave to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Shape and Bake:
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll out into a rectangle about 8" x 14". Spread the dough with the lemon curd and sprinkle the sultanas evenly over-top.
- Starting from the short side, roll the dough up jelly-roll style. Use a serrated knife to cut the log into 6 even pieces (about 1 1/4" wide).
- Place the slices onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise until puffy, about 35-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (regular bake setting/not fan assisted).
- When buns are ready to bake, tuck the loose end of the coil underneath the bun and gently press down in the centre of the roll with your finger.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden and they sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven, then remove the buns to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Make the Glaze:
- Add the icing sugar to a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice. Being adding a bit of hot water to the mixture, stirring well between each addition, until you have a thick glaze that pours slowly off a spoon. *You want the glaze to be thick enough that it flows slowly over the top of the bun, as opposed to running off it.
- Spoon the icing on to the top of each bun and top with a half cherry. .
Adapted from Tales of the Kitchen Shed
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!