It’s hard to tell you how magical these chelsea buns are. Fragrant spices, tart and chewy fruit with a whiff of bourbon, citrus tang. Soft, pillowy dough. Sweet icing. It was truly revelatory.
I’ve wanted to try these out, and decided that Paul Hollywood’s recipe had to be where I start…I only know about them from the Great British Bake-Off, so feels fitting.
What is a chelsea bun?? Chelsea buns aren’t really a thing in the U.S…at least as far as I’m aware. I’d certainly never heard of them before I started watching the Great British Bake-Off.
They are a currant sweet bun from the 1700s, once favored by royalty. Made basically the same way as a cinnamon roll, but stuffed with dried fruit instead and usually with some citrus zest in there. They’re a real British staple.
(Side note, I just went down a rabbit hole about the difference between currants, raisins, and sultanas, soooo…)
And I’m so glad I’ve tried them out, because they were so worth it!
If you’re looking at the ingredients list and thinking “whoa, that’s intense!”…don’t be put off by it. It’s not nearly as complicated or intense as it looks, I promise. I just like to write detailed instructions because I think it makes life easier…and I have step-by-step photos throughout the post so you can see how everything should look.