Sticky Autumn Spiced Buns
It’s that time of year. 7AM is looking a little gloomier than it did a few weeks ago, the knitwear is out, and pumpkin spice is well and truly back on the menu. I love everything about autumn – the cosy evenings huddled under a blanket, the extra few minutes spent savouring a warm shower before throwing on layers of cable knit and wooly socks, the license to add cinnamon to everything – but most of all, I love autumn baking. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, spiced fruit – the personification of cosy – filling my kitchen with their sweet fumes on a chilly September morning is my idea of heaven.
A fellow champion of all things cosy is my wonderful friend Lin from @tumblinbumblincrumblincookie. Her sweet, soft doughs and blooming bowls of porridge come with compassionate explorations of tradition, methodology, culture and sentiment, making her page a feast for the eyes, brain and soul.
Because of this, I was thrilled (and a little starstruck) when Lin asked if I wanted to collaborate on an autumn-themed spiced bun mission – a challenge I gleefully accepted. The outcome: soft pillowy swirls of cinnamon-infused dough and a sticky citrus filling, topped with a sweet marmalade syrup. A new autumn staple in this house for sure.
Marmalade makes a fantastic quick filling – no need to whip up cinnamon-sugar-butter or a stewed fruit filling, just grab yourself a jar of chunky marmalade (or another fruit jam/chutney if you prefer) and stuff those babies full.
I’ve also included the ingredients and instructions to make a vegan cream cheese marmalade frosting if you really want to take these buns to the next level (and why wouldn’t you?). I smeared a tablespoon or two onto the top of each bun before serving and it added a gorgeous velvety citrus kick.
Sticky Autumn Spiced Buns
Ingredients (makes 9 buns):
For the dough:
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 200g plain white flour
- 60g strong wholemeal bread flour
- 200g strong white bread flour
- 7g fast action dried yeast
- 45g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- 55g dairy-free butter/spread (plus a little extra for greasing the bowl and tin)
- 250ml soy milk
For the filling:
- 20g dairy-free butter
- 150 g marmalade
- 3 tbsp soft light brown sugar
For the glaze:
- 2 tbsp marmalade
For the optional icing (per bun):
- 2 tbsp vegan cream cheese
- 1 tsp marmalade
- In a small bowl, mix the ground flaxseed with 2 tbsp water and set aside to form a “flax egg”.
- In a large bowl mix together the flours, yeast, sugar, spices and salt. Set aside.
- Add the dairy-free butter to a small saucepan and warm over a medium-low heat until just melted.
- Add the soy milk to the melted butter and stir to warm through. Be careful not to overheat – test the temperature with your little finger, it should feel lukewarm to the touch.
- Add the milk and butter mix to the dry ingredients along with the flax egg and combine with a wooden spoon until the dough becomes thick enough to knead with your hands.
- Knead the dough in the bowl for 2 – 3 minutes, until it starts to form a loose ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead for 4 – 5 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and springs back when lightly pressed.
- Place your dough in a lightly greased bowl (I use about 1 tsp of dairy-free butter), cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rest in a warm place for 30 – 45 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a large rectangle with a thickness of about a £1 coin.
- Spread the dairy-free butter, then the marmalade and then the sugar evenly over the dough.
- Starting from the long edge, roll the dough into one long scroll – try to keep it fairly tight but don’t apply too much pressure so as to squeeze out all the filling!
- Cut into 9 equal sized rolls and space evenly in a lightly greased 8 x 8 inch baking tin.
- Cover with a damp cloth and leave to proof for 40 – 50 mins or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 185 Celsius and bake for approx. 20 – 25 mins, until golden brown.
- While they’re still warm, brush with marmalade to glaze. If your marmalade is a bit thick, you can mix it with a few tablespoons of boiling water to thin it out.
- For the optional icing, mix together the vegan cream cheese and marmalade and spread over the top of each bun before serving.
- Keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I like to warm them for 30 seconds in the microwave before eating!