Lucy's Friendly Foods

Chelsea Buns are a real British classic – a swirled spiced currant bun that was first baked in the 18th Century at the Bun House in Chelsea, which was popular with the Royal family of the time. Think a next level cinnamon bun with a fruity filling and topped with a drizzle of water icing.

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This is a true sticky bun – the filling caramelises and makes the bottom sweet and gooey and the top is often brushed with a sugar glaze to give a lovely shiny and sugary finish. I left out the top glaze and went with a water icing drizzle because i think it looks pretty but next time i think i’ll go with the glaze just to get the true sticky bun effect! To make the glaze melt together 1 tbsp soft brown sugar and 1 tbsp water, briefly bring to the boil and then brush over the top of the warm buns.

In my mind buns of all kinds fit best in the Autumn – i have no idea why this is, they just seem warm and comforting and the sort of naughty treat to tuck into on a cold and dark day.

My recipe can be filled with currants, which is the traditional filling, or with chocolate chips which is a step away from the usual, but oh my it makes an amazing filling. The combination of sugar, spice and melted chocolate is just so divine that I don’t know why these are not a usual thing. I know currants are not too popular in this house so I usually spread on the spiced sugar paste and then scatter currants over a 10cm width of the dough (to make two rolled up buns) and then chocolate chips over the remaining 20 cm to make four chocolate filled buns. These keep everyone happy and you get to enjoy both varieties at once!

Which would you choose? Are you a in the currant bun corner or the chocolate corner?

Traditional currant Chelsea Buns
Chocolate Chelsea Buns

But Honestly, you must make a batch of these – Little S gave one to a friend and it was declared the nicest thing she has ever eaten – i’m sure that wasn’t quite true, but it is high praise indeed!

Chelsea Buns – traditional currant or chocolate varieties

dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan makes 6
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course tea time
Cuisine British
Servings 6


  • 150 ml dairy-free milk
  • 50 g dairy-free margarine
  • 260 g strong bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 g or 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • for the filling:
  • 50 g dairy-free margarine
  • 10 g golden syrup
  • 25 g soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 50 g chocolate chips OR
  • 50 g currants or a mixture of the two


  • Melt the margarine into the milk (don’t make it more than tepid though)
  • Place the flour, salt, yeast, spice and caster sugar in a bowl and pour in the warmed milk and margarine mixture.
  • Bring to a dough and knead until smooth and bounces back when you press a finger onto the surface.
  • Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to double in size in a warm place.
  • Mix together the filling
  • Roll out the dough to a rectangle 30cm wide by 20 cm tall
  • Spread the filling over the entire rolled out dough and scatter with your choice of currants or chocolate chips (or I cover 10cm with currants and the remaining 20cm with chocolate chips so we end up with 2 currant Chelsea buns and 2 Chocolate chip Chelsea Buns
  • Roll up from the long side and then slice into 6 5cm pieces
  • Place well spaced on a lined baking tray and then cover the leave to rise for 30 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees or 180 degrees fan
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden


These are best eaten fresh but you can also warm them up in the oven or for 20 seconds in the microwave to make them lovely and soft
Keyword Chelsea Buns

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