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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.30 / 5 (147 votes)

Prep time:
40 min
Cook time:
45 min

These sweet, buttery and nutty treats from Rachel Allen are delicious with a cup of tea or coffee. Normally made with a yeast-risen dough, these buns are made using a slightly faster method.


1. Preheat the oven to 230C/gas mark 8. Butter and flour a 25cm cake tin.

2. For the filling: cream the butter and cinnamon together in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and then stir in the chopped toasted pecans. Set aside (not in the fridge).

3. For the dough: sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Add the caster sugar, then add the butter, and using your fingertips, rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk the beaten egg and milk together in a separate bowl, then make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the liquid (all but 60ml). Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, move your hand around in one direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise) until the dough comes together. You may need to add the rest of the milk as the dough should be soft and a little sticky.

4. To make the buns, tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and dust with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is a 35 x 25cm rectangle and about 2cm thick.

5. Spread the filling all over the rectangle, then with the widest end facing you, roll up the dough away from you so that it resembles a Swiss roll. Cut the ‘log’ 11 times to make 12 slices, each 3cm thick. Place the pieces cut side facing up, with a tiny bit of space between each ‘swirl’, in the prepared cake tin.

6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200C/gas mark 6 and cook for a further 25–35 minutes or until risen, golden brown and cooked in the centre. They should have joined together to make a lovely cluster of buns.

7. Allow to stand in the tin for 2–3 minutes before carefully turning out and cooling on a wire rack. When cool, transfer to a serving plate or cake stand.

8. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of boiling water and mix well, adding another 1/2–1 tablespoon of boiling water if necessary, until the icing is soft but not too runny. Drizzle the icing over the buns. To serve, break each bun off with your hand or cut into slices.

Cook’s tip: To toast the pecans, roughly chop them and then spread out on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven at 230C/gas mark 8 for 4 minutes. Allow to cool before using. To reduce the cooking time, place the buns on a baking tray, spacing them further apart than in step 5. Bake for 12–15 minutes until golden on top and firm at the edges.

For cinnamon scones: Instead of rolling up the dough and cutting it, you could make simple cinnamon scones. Roll the dough out until it is about 3cm thick, then cut into ten squares or rounds, each about 6cm in diameter. Brush the tops with beaten egg, then dip the wet top into crunchy granulated sugar so that they are covered in an even layer. Place on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 230C/gas mark 8 for about 10–15 minutes or until golden on top and sounding hollow when tapped on the base. Allow to cool, then split in half and serve with the cinnamon pecan filling spread on each half.

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Latest Comment


These are not the best bun ever made. I followed this recipe to the letter. They were doughy and semi bland - even with my own maple icing instead of plain. I don't think I'll be making them again.

NatK11881 NatK11881  Posted 24 Feb 2013 2:40 PM

Very good, made it a few times. one of our favourite.

EphratL69822 EphratL69822  Posted 28 Feb 2012 5:15 PM

brilliant result, I was a little apprehensive after reading the other comments but they taste amazing and look so good!

I'd just use slightly less of the milk and eggy mixture next time, there will be a next time!!

asile asile  Posted 21 Feb 2011 9:27 AM

Same here - the picture looks nothing like the recipe - they were doughy, tasteless and disappointing :(

codweasel codweasel Posted 29 Jan 2011 2:37 PM

Just baked them, was REALLY looking forward to eating them..... but had the same problem as friendlyyak that being it was more like dough, no softness about them and they crtainly didnt spread in the tin. Annoyed as I'm a fairly confident baker and did check and re-check I was following recipe correctly. I'm afraid I will be going back to buns with yeast etc. :((

hayleyB13898 hayleyB13898 Posted 14 Jan 2011 4:21 PM

Just made these and had the same problem with the buns not rising. They have come out kind of biscuity instead of doughy, and we followed the recipe precisely. Saw them on tv the other day and was really looking forward to nice gooey cinnamony buns :-(

Friendlyyak Friendlyyak Posted 02 Jan 2011 1:15 PM

I made these the other day and they were delicious! I deffinatley reccomend them. they are very easy to make

ElisabethS87135 ElisabethS87135 Posted 23 Dec 2010 11:06 AM

Just made this and love it,will definately make it again - made to the recipe - only thing I did different was not cook it so long.

LynetteB13129 LynetteB13129 Posted 21 Dec 2010 8:52 PM

I have made these three times and the dough never seems to rise properly, it is hard on the outside and doughy on the inside it doesn't seem right.
Could any one help me?

RebeccaP96337 RebeccaP96337 Posted 15 Jun 2010 2:38 PM

delicious, i made them twice in a week and i've got people hooked on them!! and they're real easy to make. there musn't be alot of space between them when you bake them for them to rise and form a cluster. so cinnamony goodSmile

rabat13 rabat13 Posted 07 Jan 2009 6:17 PM

I tried these today and it was a total disaster! I used gluten and wheat free plain flour, is this why?

RebeccaB81723 RebeccaB81723 Posted 04 Jan 2009 7:57 PM

Judy....was your flour fresh....did you actually add the Baking Powder....I know this sounds silly but one can forget! Also...I find when making scones you have to get them into the oven immediately..no sitting aroundsitting around

JoyceS98597 JoyceS98597 Posted 23 Dec 2008 11:29 PM

Can anyone help me. These did not rise for me, any ideas why! Followed receipe to the letter!

JudyS98998 JudyS98998 Posted 20 Dec 2008 7:10 PM

these tasted fab! just like a saralee pecan nut pie(discontinued?) they were smashin! best served warm i thought, will defo make again! so simple!

SAMA13352 SAMA13352 Posted 19 Dec 2008 1:42 PM

So I tried, and I must say, I conquered. They came out really well. The recipe was really easy to follow and well worth it. They taste great, takes me back to when I was in the States on holiday.

simoneM76969 simoneM76969 Posted 10 Dec 2008 3:38 PM