• 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 325ml whole milk
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 700g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • for brushing golden syrup
  • for decoration rock sugar, (optional)


  • 1 of each lemon and orange, zested and juiced
  • 100g currants or small raisins
  • 150g unsalted butter, very soft
  • 75g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice


  • STEP 1

    Crush the cardamom pods with a rolling pin, snap the cinnamon stick a few times, and put into a pan with the cloves and milk. Heat the milk until steaming, then take off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for an hour.

  • STEP 2

    To make the dough, heat the milk again until hand warm. In the bowl of a table-top mixer, fitted with a dough hook, very briefly mix the sugar, yeast, butter and one of the eggs – the butter can still be lumpy, as long as it’s soft. Sieve in the milk, discarding the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, then add 675g of the flour with the sea salt. Mix for a few minutes until the dough is glossy, smooth and soft – it should be a little sticky but not wet, so add the extra flour if you need to. Cover the bowl with some oiled clingfilm and leave at room temperature to prove overnight.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, reserve 1 tbsp of each juice from the filling ingredients, and put the rest in a pan with the currants. Heat until the juice begins to bubble, then turn off the heat, cover and leave the fruit to soak overnight. Mash together the butter, sugar, mixed spice and zests.

  • STEP 4

    In the morning, roll the dough into a 36 x 30cm rectangle. Sieve and discard any leftover juice from the currants and stir the currants into the spiced sugar-butter. Spread the mix over the dough, right to the edges. Roll up the dough from one of the longer sides, then use a floured knife to slice the log into 9 even chunks.

  • STEP 5

    Flatten 9 paper muffin cases and sit a chunk of dough on each, cut-side up. Use your hands to re-shape the buns into rounds. Space the case-lined buns on 2 baking sheets and heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

  • STEP 6

    Lightly beat the second egg, then brush over the buns. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden, swapping the trays on the shelves halfway.

  • STEP 7

    Mix a spoon of golden syrup with the reserved orange and lemon juice, then brush over the still warm buns. Sprinkle with the crunchy rock sugar, if using, and enjoy.

You can make these ahead by part-baking the buns in advance. Bake the buns for 10 minutes, then cool and freeze. The night before you want to serve, space the buns back on baking trays and leave to defrost overnight. In the morning, bake again at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for another 12 minutes – just check the centre is cooked through on the fattest one.

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