Spiced brown sugar and walnut sticky buns

These scrumptious buns fill your kitchen with a lovely aroma. Best of all, they can be half-made the night before, for simple assembly and baking as your friends arrive. 


31/4 – 31/2 cups plain flour 

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt

11/2 tsp instant dried yeast*

1 cup lukewarm milk

1 egg 

2 egg yolks

150g butter, soft but not melted


3/4 cup walnuts or hazelnuts, roasted and finely chopped

3/4 cup dates or raisins, finely chopped

1 cup brown sugar

150g butter, soft but not melted

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

finely grated zest 1 large lemon

The night before: 

Put 3 cups of the flour and all remaining dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk milk, egg and yolks together and add to the flour. 

Beat for 2 minutes to form a sticky dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Gradually beat in the butter, mixing until the dough is shiny, smooth and comes away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. At this point you may need to use the extra flour, adding it a teaspoon at a time if the dough is very soft.

Place the dough in a large well-buttered bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, but remove from the fridge at least an hour before rolling. 

Make the filling by combining all the ingredients. Set aside.

The morning of your brunch: 

Preheat the oven to 180˚C and generously butter a 12 cup-capacity muffin tin.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured bench into a rectangle about 40cm x 20cm.

Arrange the dough with the long side facing you. Spread the filling evenly over the top then roll up from the long side to form a log. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 rounds and place each one into a muffin tin, cut side up. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden. 

Remove from the oven and let sit in the tins for a few minutes before removing buns and scooping out remaining nuts and sugar left in the tins to sprinkle on top. Eat warm on the day of making. Makes 12

*The dried yeast we’ve used is not designed to be started in warm liquid first. It should only ever be added to the dry ingredients. It’s conveniently packaged in single-use sachets and is available on supermarket baking shelves.

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