Make Ahead

Apple Cinnamon Chelsea Buns with Brandy (or Cider) Drizzled Icing

November 17, 2014
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Photo by AntoniaJames
  • Makes 12 buns
Author Notes

A first cousin of my standard sticky buns studded with currants, these have brandy (or cider) soaked dried apples instead. The buns can be prepared up to the final rise, covered tightly, and refrigerated overnight, if you prefer to bake them fresh in the morning. I hope you like these. ;o) —AntoniaJames

What You'll Need
  • Apple Cinnamon Buns
  • 1 cup (2 ¼ ounce, 62 grams) dried apples, chopped
  • 1/3 cup / 81 ml brandy, or ¼ cup / 60 grams sweet country cider
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 172 grams / ¾ cup / 170 ml whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons / 7 grams / 10 ml instant (Rapid Rise) yeast
  • 360 grams (3 cups) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided (1 for the dough, 1/2 for the filling)
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon / 5 ml) salt
  • 36 grams (3 tablespoons / 45 ml) white sugar
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons, 113 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • For the Filling
  • 108 grams (45 ml / 3 tablespoons ) raw sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup finely chopped toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • Flour for rolling out the dough
  • 1 tablespoon / 15 ml apricot jam, warmed, large bits removed, and mixed with a scant 2 teaspoons of water
  • Cider (or Brandy) Drizzle
  • 3/4 cup sifted or sieved confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons of cider or brandy
  1. Apple Cinnamon Buns
  2. Scald the milk. Let it cool just to warm. Take the butter out of the fridge if you haven't already done so.
  3. Put the warm milk, egg, yeast and white sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a spoon or spatula, stir to blend. Add the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and the salt. Stir again until all the ingredients are incorporated. You can do this using the dough hook of your stand mixer, but I find it quicker just to do this with a sturdy, flexible cooking spatula. Run the dough hook for about two minutes, scraping down if necessary to ensure that all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rest for about 20 minutes.
  4. Once the dough has rested, cut 3 tablespoons / 42 grams / 45 ml of the butter into ½” dice, and turn on your stand mixer to medium speed. Drop the bits of butter into the dough a few at a time. Knead on medium high speed for 8 minutes. Remove the dough and shape it into a ball. It's full of fat, so you don't need to oil your proofing bowl. (I put it right back into the mixing bowl if I don't need that bowl for another use.) Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rise until doubled, about 60 - 90 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, warm the chopped dried apples in the cider or brandy. If using brandy, simmer it for a minute or two to burn off the alcohol. (I do this in the microwave using my Pyrex 2 cup measure. I measure in the brandy, and then press the chopped apples into it, and then microwave it for 2-3 minutes.)
  6. Use one tablespoon of butter to generously coat the bottom and sides of an 8" x 12" (quarter sheet) rimmed baking sheet - sometimes called a "jelly roll pan."
  7. Take the dough out and set it on a floured counter, stretching and shaping it into a rectangle that's about 8" x 10". Let it rest a few minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the raw sugar, allspice and nutmeg.
  8. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into rectangle, 9” x 12”. Spread 4 tablespoons / 2 ounces / 56 grams of softened butter over the rectangle, leaving a 3/4" border unfilled; sprinkle on the sugar and spices and then the apples and the pecans, if using.
  9. From the long side closest to you, tightly roll the dough and pinch the ends shut. Cut into 12 slices. Place in the prepared baking pan, in 3 rows of 4. Cover loosely with plastic (or put into a large plastic bag) and let rise until nearly doubled, 45 minutes to an hour. (At this point, you can cover very tightly with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight. They’ll rise somewhat, but will need at least another hour in the morning before you can bake them.)
  10. While buns are rising, heat oven to 400 degrees.
  11. Bake 20 – 25 minutes, checking after 12 - 15 minutes and tenting loosely with foil if the buns have started to darken.
  12. Remove and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. While still somewhat warm, brush with the apricot glaze. Shortly before serving, drizzle with cider or brandy icing.
  13. I hope you like these. Yours sincerely, AntoniaJames
  1. Cider (or Brandy) Drizzle
  2. Stir 1 teaspoon of cider or brandy into the sugar. Add more, a drop or two at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. We like our drizzled icing thin. Make it as thin or thick as you like. Using a fork, drizzle over the buns to taste.
  3. NB: I originally posted this recipe with a quince and lemon custard drizzle. You can find the recipe for that as part of my roasted pear recipe here on Food52. ;o)

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Recipe by: AntoniaJames

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