Christmas buns

Christmas buns

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(27 ratings)

Cook: 25 mins 40 mins + rising


Serves 9
Paul Hollywood's fruit rolls can be made ahead then heated up before adding a glossy glaze and citrus icing

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal455
  • fat9g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs89g
  • sugars47g
  • fibre3g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.65g


  • 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 300ml milk



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

  • 40g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • vegetable oil, for greasing

For the filling

  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • 75g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 100g chopped dried apricot

For the glaze

  • 50g caster sugar

For the lemon icing

  • zest 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 200g icing sugar


  1. Put the flour and 1 tsp salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast. Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a pan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm. Add the milk mixture and egg to the flour mixture and stir until the contents come together as a soft dough (add extra flour if you need to).

  2. Tip the dough onto a well-floured surface. Knead for 5 mins, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky.

  3. Lightly oil a bowl with the vegetable oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn until covered in oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.

  4. For the filling, knock the dough back to its original size and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 1cm-thick rectangle. Brush all over with the melted butter, then sprinkle over the sugar, cinnamon and fruit.

  5. Roll up the dough into a tight cylinder, cut into 9 x 4cm slices and position on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between. Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 mins.

  6. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Bake the buns for 20-25 mins or until risen and golden brown. Meanwhile, melt the glaze sugar with 4 tbsp water until syrupy.

  7. Remove from oven and glaze. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, mix the zest and icing sugar with about 2 tbsp water to drizzle over the buns. Serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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27th Nov, 2018
Followed the recipe except added a few sulatanas, they were delicious! Everyone loved them and were very impressed, they grew to be pretty massive! Will definitely make these again but will probably try either mincemeat or chocolate for the filling.
12th Oct, 2018
Yummy the whole family loved them. Easy to make too.
22nd Nov, 2017
Omg I love it , I also love the great British bake off and also I loved it much me when marry berry was doing it , don't tell the other lady (I know here name just don't know how to spell it ) but I don't like her! Do you still speak to marry berry? If so tell her I respect her so much and I'm not going to say I'm her biggest fan but she still means so much to me because baking may be my future in fact my teachers are always saying that we are the future. She is one of my idols alongside you and I'm only in year 7 at secondary school. PS: reply please so then I can show my best friend Isy! Please call me Rebecca
2nd Apr, 2015
I've made them several times but using mincemeat or chocolate bits was better as the filling didn't fall out. If you use chocolate, they're even nicer the next day cut in half, toasted and then buttered. I used Belgian milk chocolate cut up but didn't bother with the lemon icing. I tried orange in the icing but it was too bland
26th Feb, 2015
Surprisingly easy and the dough got quite puffy and i found making it very relaxing. Next time I shall roll it thinner and wider so the filling can be spread further as they grew huge. I used almonds as well, halved the cinnamon and added nutmeg. Also, halved the icing sugar and added lemon juice as well as the zest which was the best bit. Not so keen on the filling so i think either the chocolate bits or the boozy mincemeat is a great idea for next time. (I wonder if i could use apricot jam instead)
4th Dec, 2013
I've made these a few times now & they are wonderful. I do put in extra fruit & I use sultans too & I don't use lemon in the icing. I store them in an air tight box & they stay fresh for a couple of days. Might be longer but we've eaten them by then!
20th May, 2013
I used the basic recipe here but did cinnamon, a little mixed spice, half a bar of chocolate cut into chunks and currants. Everyone loved them and they turned out a lot better than I expected, and was easier than I thought
20th Dec, 2012
Hi all, I am planning to bake those rolls for Christmas. However, I would like to prepare them in advance. How long will they stay good please? How can I keep them fresh? Thanks!
20th Nov, 2013
As this is a "bread" recipe, they are best eaten on the day you make them. However, you can easily freeze them without the icing and just thaw in warm oven drawer then ice and serve.
7th Dec, 2012
Fab I have done this soo many times now and I still get it right


17th Dec, 2019
Would this still work without the fruit?
lulu_grimes's picture
18th Dec, 2019
Hi, Yes you can, it will be like a cinnamon bun. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
Clare Turner's picture
Clare Turner
12th Jun, 2019
To make these in advance, when would you freeze them - once rolled up and on the baking sheet (but not left to rise) or once cooked (but before icing)? And how long would you think to defrost? Many thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Jun, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can freeze the completed buns, although adding the icing once defrosted will give them an extra boost. They'll take a couple of hours to defrost.
25th Nov, 2018
Can you leave the dough mix overnight when waiting for it to rise?
goodfoodteam's picture
27th Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. If you need to leave it overnight, we'd suggest doing this at step three. You can pop it in a cool place to slow the rise.
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