Sticky date buns

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 50 mins Plus proving overnight or up to 72 hours

More effort

Makes 12
The longer the dough for this sweet fruit bread stays in the fridge the better the flavour - perfect with a cup of tea

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal420
  • fat16g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars28g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt1.1g
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  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast-action dried yeast
  • 600g 00 flour, sponge flour or plain flour, plus extra for dusting



    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

  • 400ml warm milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 200g butter, 50g melted, remainder very soft



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 large egg, beaten with a fork
  • 200g date



    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

  • 250g light soft brown sugar
  • icing sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. Up to 3 days before you want to bake, mix the caster sugar, yeast, 400g of the flour and 1 tsp salt in a big bowl. Whisk together the milk, melted butter and egg, then tip into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Cover with buttered cling film and put in the fridge at least overnight or for up to 3 days.

  2. When you’re ready to make the buns, put the dates in a bowl and pour over just enough boiling water to cover. Leave to soak for 15-20 mins. Drain, pat dry, stone and chop.

  3. Mix the remaining flour into the dough. Use your hands to bring the dough together, then tip out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead. Roll out with a little more flour to a large rectangle, about 50 x 30cm, with one of the short sides facing you. Spread over three-quarters of the soft butter, then sprinkle over three-quarters of the brown sugar. Fold the bottom third of the dough up and over the middle third, then the top third down over the other two.

  4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, or a quarter turn one way. Roll out again to a similar-sized rectangle as before, this time with one of the long edges facing you. Spread over all but 1 heaped tsp of the remaining butter, scatter over the remaining brown sugar, and sprinkle over the dates. Roll up tightly like a Swiss roll from one of the long edges. Trim the ends a tiny bit, and slice into 12 roughly even portions. Lightly butter the holes of a muffin tin with the reserved butter, then push a roll, cut-side up, into each hole.

  5. Bake for 50 mins until golden and risen. Remove from the tin while warm, so they don’t stick. Dust tops with icing sugar, if you like, or serve sticky-bottom up.

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Comments (7)

RuthBaker's picture

Very easy to make ahead, with a beautiful texture. When putting the mix in the fridge, make sure you use a big bowl as it will double in size. The dough mixture actually made 24 buns. I think next time I'll split the dough and make 2 flavours. Splitting the mixture will probably make it easier to roll. The buns did come out an uneven shape, so think I will place on a baking tray next time.

dalekdoctor's picture

Tried this with plain flour and 00 flour with an overnight fridge prove. Used one dough for Belgian buns so added sultanas to the mix with the second lot of flour and spread lemon curd on it (no extra butter) before rolling, vanilla icing and a cherry on top this was 00 flour and it worked brilliantly. In the plain flour mix I used sugar, cinnamon and butter to make cinnamon buns but only used 75g of butter( the 200g would be way too much) and did a cream cheese vanilla frosting. The 00 flour worked better I think as they didn't unfurl. I used the dental floss cutting tip which amazed the students and worked very efficiently

Foodmonster2's picture

very nice and were definitely ready in 30 minutes. I baked half in a normal baking tray and they looked a lot better than those from the muffin tin.

catdibden's picture

I made these today and they were yummy! I halved the quantities but it still made 12 good sized buns! I added a bit of mixed spice in with the sugar, which went well with the dates. I agree the buns were probably done sooner than the 50 minutes but I left them in for the full amount of time and they were fine. Next time I'd probably brush the tops with melted butter before baking as they came out a bit dry, but the bottoms were sticky and yummy. Will definitely make again!

jay1wright's picture

Well, where do I start. Had loads of fun making the dough with my 6 year old daughter. Wrapped it as it said too.... Pop. Maybe a little too tight, dough explosion in the fridge. Luckily enough saved to carry on. Waited for 32 hours. Couldn't wait any longer. The rest was really easy, popped them in the oven and waited. No smoke, wonderful aroma, didn't give them the full 50 mins as they seemed ok after 35, risen and oozing flavour. Just a little crispy around the edges but went down warm with a cup of tea. Perfect. Looking forward to the next time might even add some chopped pecans. Easy with really good results. Go on give them a go.

sllyst's picture

As above, absoluteky delicious! Great way to get dates in my non date eating kids, i whizzed them up first so it was just a sweet butter, yum yum yum!

vivaves's picture

Totally, TOTALLY gorgeous. Tried these as soon as I got the magazine, and wasn't disappointed. Buttery, stodgy, sweet and oozing with flavour. Do beware, though, that the butter does leak all over the muffin tin and will flood onto the floor of the oven - good idea to place a baking tray lined with foil underneath the muffin tin to catch all the excess and prevent it burning (I could barely see across the kitchen by the time the buns were cooked!). Next time I make them I might use less butter for spreading over the dough, to try and prevent this happening. But there will be a next time. Oh yes.

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