Homemade Belgian Buns

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.

Homemade Belgian Buns on a cooling rack.

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 ?

Belgian Bun on a tea plate cut in half to reveal lemon curd 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.

Close up shot of iced buns with a cherry on the top on a cooling rack.

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

Top shot image of freshly iced buns on a cooling rack.

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.

Close up of cut slices of rolled sweet dough filled with sultanas and lemon curd.

Then it’s time to bake and cool.

Freshly baked buns fresh from the oven without icing and cherry.

Then top with lemon icing and a cherry – Homemade Belgian Buns couldn’t be easier.

Belgian buns on a wooden board freshly iced with cherries and blobs of icing on the board.

If You Like Homemade Belgian Buns … you might also like:

Peach Streusel Traybake

Healthy Hot Cross Buns

Sweet & Spicy Christmas Tree Bread

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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!

Homemade Belgian Buns

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!
4.97 from 54 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Afternoon Tea, Sweet Treat
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Proving time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Sarah James

Equipment

  • 2 x large baking trays / sheets

Ingredients

Sweet Dough

  • 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

Filling

  • 6 tbsp lemon curd
  • 115 g sultanas

Topping

  • 300 g icing sugar powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 12 glace cherries

Instructions

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.

Notes

Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Belgian Buns
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
350
Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
10
g
15
%
Saturated Fat
 
6
g
38
%
Cholesterol
 
36
mg
12
%
Sodium
 
112
mg
5
%
Potassium
 
151
mg
4
%
Carbohydrates
 
75
g
25
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
43
g
48
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
287
IU
6
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
35
mg
4
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin Homemade Belgian Buns

A set of three photo images - starting with a close up of freshly iced Belgian Buns on a cooling rack. Second image is of a split bun revealing the lemon curd filling. Last image is of freshly baked buns cooling on a rack.

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.

I’m also entering Homemade Belgian Buns into a couple challenges this month:



119 thoughts on “Homemade Belgian Buns”

    • Hi Taghrid, thanks for getting in touch. Oven temperatures can vary from oven to oven. I bake my Belgian Buns for 25 minutes at 200 C in a conventional oven. I’m wondering if your oven is fan assisted? it can make a difference of up to 20 degrees and would explain why your Belgian Buns were baked in 15 minutes. I’m in the process of updating my site with fan oven temperatures and I’ve added 180 C to the recipe card today.

  • Is there any way I can prep these a night before and bake them in the morning? If so, at what point should I stop the prep and should it be stored in fridge until the morning!?

    Thanks so much!

    • Hello Sunny, yes you can prep the night before. I find the best results are from retarding the dough in the fridge overnight. Let your dough rise in a covered bowl for about an hour before you put it in the fridge. When you bring it out in the morning let it come back to room temperature before you roll the dough out and spread with lemon curd and sultanas. It usually takes about an hour to come back to room temp in a warm kitchen.
      I haven’t tried putting the buns in the fridge ready shaped in case the lemon curd seeps out of the buns.
      Hope this helps, let me know how you get on.

  • 5 stars
    These were absolutely delicious! I made these following the recipe exactly, not only were the instructions so easy to follow but the end result was absolutely better than anything I’ve had from a store.

  • Hi Sarah, I was just about to make these bun when I realised there was no salt mentioned in the recipe. Is this correct? Many thanks.

    • Hi Ellie. I don’t use salt in my sweet doughs as I tend to use salted butter. I always have salted butter in my fridge as unsalted doesn’t have a very long shelf life. You have raised a good point though so thank you for bringing it up. I’ll amend my recipe to include salted butter instead of butter. You could of course use unsalted butter and add half teaspoon salt if you prefer. Do let me know how you get on 🙂

      • Thanks so much for your prompt reply Sarah, I really appreciate it.
        I have just made these buns and OMG, they are fabulous! I’m so pleased to have stumbled across your lovely site, and have already made a mental note of several of your recipes for the future. Thanks again. ????

        • You’re most welcome Ellie. Glad to hear my reply got to you before you made your Belgian Buns and so pleased they turned out so well. They’re a family favourite and vanish pretty quickly, sometimes before I ice them. It’s a pleasure to share the recipe and look forward to hearing from you again.

  • 5 stars
    Those Belgian buns looks so soft and delicious, I feel like grabbing some from the screen. Saving the recipe to try them later.

  • 5 stars
    WOW, these Belgian buns look super fluffy and delicious, but they are also topped with a bit of icing and a cute cherry which convinces me to make them really soon! I need to make these as I have never made these before. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  • 5 stars
    What a delicious buns recipe to try at home. Looks fantastic. I wish I could grab one right now. I am making this recipe soon.

  • 5 stars
    Wow! You are quite the baker! These Belgium buns look to die for! Can’t wait to make these for the holidays,

  • 5 stars
    WOW, this looks great! I have never tried anything like this. Looking forward to making it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Leslie, my boys used to love rolling up the buns and icing them. I hope you enjoy making them as much as we do.

  • 5 stars
    These iced buns are amazing. I recently made them for an afternoon tea and everyone loved them.

  • 5 stars
    These Belgian bars are adorable and delicious! I love the cute cherry on top. Another great recipe from you, thank you!

  • As a lover of Belgium Buns I really have to try this recipe it sounds perfect, but with just two of us here and twelve buns it is a lot, can they be frozen?

    • Hi Dave, thanks for stopping by. Good news – my Belgian Buns freeze really well. We often freeze ours as like you say twelve buns are a lot for two people to eat and they are best eaten on the same day.

  • 5 stars
    Hi
    These are fantastic..
    I am a new lockdown inspired baker and after following this recipe it was suggested to me I had cheated and bought them from a real baker!
    …..and I didn’t even have any Lemon Curd!
    My marmalade substitute obviously didn’t detract to much????????.

    Will be making them again strictly to the recipe.
    Thanks

    • Hi Gary, sorry this reply is late. I’ve had a bit of a break from my blog. It’s for a normal oven so set at 10 or 20 degrees less depending on your convection oven.

  • 5 stars
    Made these a few times now, mother in law says perfect now but 1 issue I now need to make them every week!! Great recipe.

  • 5 stars
    Tried baking these, they look awesome, saving them for fathers day… couldn’t resist eating one before .. absolutely delicious recipe!!!

  • I made these today and they are AMAZING! So easy to make and taste delicious. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 It won’t let me rate the recipe below but it’s 5 star for sure!

  • You are quite right to put Lemon Curd in as Belgium Buns should always have this as part of it’s ingredients otherwise it just becomes an iced fruit bun. I am a trained baker by the way and have managed several bakeries 🙂

    • Thanks for popping by Mike, thanks for the info – good to hear from a professional baker.

  • Thanks Derek, homemade lemon curd makes all the difference if you have time to make some. Do let me know how you get on 🙂

    • Thanks for the lovely compliment Kat and always a pleasure to link up with #TreatPetite x

  • These look and sound perfect and CUTE! That filling has me drooling over here. It’s almost 12am and your photos got me craving sweets!

    • Thanks Jennifer, it’s a pleasure to share the recipe, do let me know how you get on 🙂

  • My daughter loves anything with lemon curd inside, so we both would go for this version, too. Can’t wait to bake up some of these for an Easter treat!

  • Ooh you are soooo good at bread Sarah! These look so inviting, and I’d absolutely love to try them. I have to admit that I’ve never come across Belgium buns before, but with that lemon curd rolled up in the dough who could resist! Gorgeous bake!
    Angela x

    • Thanks for such a lovely compliment Angela. My boys and me laugh at my first attempts years ago and they often tell me how much better my bread is now, I’m glad I kept on baking x

    • Thanks Ali, I hope you do try the recipe. I’d definitely have a go, the more you bake the better you get, my boys tell me I’ve improved over the years 🙂

  • Such a beautiful bun Sarah. I’ve never actually had a bun stuffed with lemon curd (and with a cherry on top for that matter) but it sounds so delicious. . .sort of like a donut. . .only better.

  • Scrumptious! My girls would love these especially as they always beg for extra cherries. I’m sure these are fun to make too!

  • These look divine! Every week when I was young, Mum would take us three girls to swimming lessons, we each got to choose a cake from Tesco bakery first, little sis went for giant cookie, middle sis went for double choc muffin and I ALWAYS went for Belgium Bun. Need to perfect a GF/DF version these days!!!

    • Thanks Rebecca, nice to meet a fellow Belgian Bun fan. Vicki has a gluten free flour I’m thinking of trying and to make it dairy free a soy milk would be a good alternative.

    • You’re most welcome Monika, your salad looked delicious and I’m looking forward to trying it soon 🙂

  • These look fabulous! I’ve been playing around with this kind of bread with my gluten-free flour blends…they are never quite like the gluten containing version but they are darn tasty none the less. I need to make some like yours with icing and a cherry!

    • Thanks Gloria, we love homemade here at the Kitchen Shed. I haven’t had one for breakfast yet but it sounds a good idea 🙂

  • I need to start calling you the baking guru… Lol. I love the look of these buns, I would love to have them without the icing, not too much of an icing fan.

    • Thanks for the lovely compliment Fred. The icing is quite sweet and I’m sure they’ll still be a special treat without.

  • Wow Sarah, this is one delicious looking recipe. I love pastries and one of our favorites is the lemon filled. I’m pinning this for when I’m treating John and I for a very special breakfast!

  • Yum! Lemon curd filled buns sounds like such a special treat! 🙂 Thank you for co hosting FF and enjoy the weekend 🙂

  • Sarah, I am not much of a baker but these look delicious and I adore lemon curd. These would be perfect for Easter! Oh yum!

    • Thanks Liz, I’ve made some more lemon curd for another batch. Thanks for helping me cohost the Fiesta party for the first time 🙂

    • Thanks Sarah and thanks for the compliment, I would love to try a Belgian Bun from Belgium 🙂

    • Thanks Angie and thanks for asking me to cohost Fiesta Friday, it’s certainly been a lot of fun.

  • Wow these Belgian buns look so good Sarah, just like you might get in the bakery! I think I would like the ones with lemon curd in the middle as well so I agree with your taste testers. Drooling now!

    • Thanks Lucy, that’s so very kind of you. We’ve gone lemon curd mad here and I’m making some more buns this weekend.

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