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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:

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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!
4.94 from 87 votes
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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


  • 2 large baking trays / sheets


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


  • 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.


Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 287IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg

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:

Sharing is caring!

Recipe Rating


Sunday 12th of September 2021

They tasted really lovely, thanks for the recipe Sarah! Natalie

Sarah James

Sunday 12th of September 2021

So pleased you enjoyed them Natalie. It's a pleasure to share the recipe.


Saturday 11th of September 2021

Hi there! Just wanted to double check the yeast quantity in this recipe as it sounded rather a lot. At the beginning of the recipe you said you used instant yeast but the recipe calls for 1tbsp instant yeast, I just weighed that out on the scale and it was about 10g. Is this correct? Thanks so much! The recipe looks gorgeous, am trying it this afternoon 😊

Sarah James

Saturday 11th of September 2021

Hi Natalie, thanks for getting in touch. Don't worry, the yeast quantity is correct as the recipe needs more yeast than a regular bread dough to compensate for the added egg, butter and sugar. Just double checked how much a tablespoon of instant yeast weighs on my scales and it comes in at 9 grams. Enjoy Belgian bun making and do let me know how you get on.

Taghrid Jammoul

Thursday 1st of April 2021

They only need 15 minutes the recipe says 20-25 minutes it’s too long

Sarah James

Thursday 1st of April 2021

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.


Tuesday 9th of February 2021

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!

Sarah James

Tuesday 9th of February 2021

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.


Wednesday 25th of November 2020

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.