The Great British Fruit Bun Recipe

The Great British Fruit Bun Recipe

This is Dan Lepard's recipe for a quick, almost-no-kneading bun that can be adapted in flavour or shape

Dan Lepard: "With this recipe you’re all-set, all year round, for great hot cross buns, fruit buns and loaves or gorgeous tea cakes. You can even leave out the fruit and roll it in later for Chelsea buns and cinnamon twists. Almost no kneading, quick to mix, and made with easy to find ingredients. And of course, you can tweak it to add the fruit and flavours you prefer."


  • 200ml warm water
  • 2 sachets fast action yeast
  • 100g spelt or wholemeal flour
  • 125g butter
  • 50g muscovado or molasses sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 250ml milk
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 750g mixed dried fruit
  • 800g strong white bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Oil for kneading


1. Whisk the water, yeast and spelt flour in a bowl until smooth. Put the butter, sugar, honey and spice in a very large mixing bowl. Boil the milk then pour this into the mixing bowl and stir until the butter melts. Beat in the eggs then stir in the mixed fruit.

2. Have the flour and salt ready then stir the yeast mixture in with the fruit, then add the flour and salt and mix everything together evenly. Cover the bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Lightly oil a patch of worktop and knead the dough gently on it for about 10 seconds (that’s right, not minutes) then return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave for an hour.

For hot cross buns, fruit buns or tea cakes

(Makes 12 large buns)

3. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (each about 200g), shape into balls then place on a tray lined with non-stick paper. Leave to rise in a very warm place covered with cling film for about an hour until almost doubled, then brush with beat egg. For hot cross buns pipe a cross on each (for the cross mix beat together 150g flour with 100ml water). then bake at 200°C/180°C fan/390°F/gas 6 for about 25 minutes.

For fruit bread

(Makes 2 large tin loaves)

3. Have two large deep loaf tins ready and butter the insides well (or line with non-stick paper). Pat each piece out with a little flour into a rectangle, roll each one up tightly like a scroll then place each one seam-side down in a tin, squeezing it in from the ends to make it fit.

4. Punch the top down to knock out any bubbles then cover and leave to rise in a very warm place covered with cling film for about an hour until almost doubled.

5. Flour the top lightly, slash down the middle with a sharp knife and bake at 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas 4 for about 40 minutes until golden on top with the loaf pulling away form the sides of the tin.

6. Remove from the oven, release the bread from the tin then leave to cool on a wire rack.

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