Homemade Belgian Buns – nothing beats a freshly baked iced bun with a cherry on the top. Filled with homemade Lemon Curd & juicy sultanas – so much better than Greggs!
One of my favourite treats when I go to a cafe or a bakery is an iced bun, especially if there’s a cherry on the top.
Regular readers will know about my love of bread baking and I thought I’d have a go at recreating my favourite cafe treat.
What Is A Belgian Bun ?
Apparently Belgian Buns aren’t Belgian at all. Although I’m told you can find similar dough based buns known as a rozijnenkoek or couque suisse in bakeries in Belgium.
A Belgian Bun is like a Chelsea Bun but with icing and a cherry on the top. OH and I had a debate about the filling in a Belgian Bun – should there be lemon curd with the sultana filling ?
The famous Belgian Bun from Greggs has lemon curd inside. So my plan was to offer my taste testers a “with curd” and a “without curd” bun.
It never happened because everyone who tried the first batch of buns loved the lemon curd filling and said this is what makes the buns so special.
What Is The Difference Between Instant Yeast & Active Dry Yeast ?
I’ve used instant yeast in the recipe, often called fast action or quick yeast. This yeast has the advantage that you can add it directly to your flour.
I like to use Dove’s Farm Quick Yeast which comes in a handy 125g packet. Once opened, Dove’s Farm Yeast will keep for up to two months if you store it in a cool dry place. I order my yeast from Amazon in packs of three and the Use Before date has always been a couple of years in the future.
Active dry yeast needs to be dissolved first and left to bloom.
Can I Use Active Dry Yeast In This Recipe ?
Yes you can!
Add 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast to the warm milk along with a spoon of the caster sugar, stir and leave for 10 to 15 minutes to bubble up.
Now you’re ready to make the dough.
How To Make Homemade Belgian Buns
Homemade Belgian Buns are easy to make.
Make the dough in a breadmaker or stand mixer. Alternatively, you can make the dough by hand. Knead until your dough is smooth and elastic and check with the window pane test.
The windowpane test is a consistently reliable way to check your dough is ready. Pinch off a small piece of dough and gently stretch it apart, pulling and rotating the dough into a thin membrane, or window pane, which is translucent when you hold it up to the light.
Leave to rise and then all you need to do is roll out the proved dough.
Spread with lemon curd and sultanas, roll up like a swiss roll and slice ready to prove again.
Then it’s time to bake and cool.
Then top with lemon icing and a cherry – Homemade Belgian Buns couldn’t be easier.
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Homemade Belgian Buns
- 2 large baking trays / sheets
- 450 g strong white bread flour
- 1 tbsp instant yeast I use Doves Farm
- 4 tbsp caster sugar superfine sugar
- 115 g softened salted butter
- 200 ml warm milk
- 1 egg beaten
- 6 tbsp lemon curd
- 115 g sultanas
- 300 g icing sugar powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar
- 5 tbsp lemon juice
- 12 glace cherries
Make your dough
- Combine all the dough ingredients, in either the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook fitted or in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix on slow speed number 1 for approximately 1 to 2 minutes then on speed number 2 for 8 to 10 minutes.
- If mixing by hand stir the ingredients together until they form a ball and then knead for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Check your dough is sufficiently smooth and elastic to pass the windowpane test.
- Place your dough in a large greased mixing bowl and cover. Leave to rest in a warm place for at least one and a half hours or until doubled in size.
Shape and Bake
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll out into a rectangle about 40 x 25 cm (16″ x 10″).
- Spread the dough with lemon curd and sprinkle with the sultanas.
- Starting from a long side, tightly roll up the dough like a swiss roll or jelly roll.
- With a sharp knife cut into 12 even slices.
- Lay slices flat on your lined baking trays and cover with a cloth or greased cling film.
- Leave to rise from approximately 30 to 45 minutes until well risen.
- Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6 . Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
Make your icing
- Sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl and mix with the lemon juice until nice and smooth. Add extra lemon juice if necessary, the icing should drop slowly off your spoon.
- Spoon the lemon icing on to the top of each bun and top with a cherry.
Pin Homemade Belgian Buns
I am taking my mouth wateringly delicious Homemade Belgian Buns to this week’s Fiesta Friday #162 which is a weekly foodie party hosted by the lovely Angie. This will be my first week co hosting so I’m pleased I’ve got a fellow co host, Liz from Spades, Spatulas & Spoons to help me out.